November 14, 2014, by Andrew Gibson

Panel 5: Is it robust knowledge or make believe? – Evidence, uncertainty and the role of values (A. Cassidy, T. Johnson, S. Parkinson)

The below video features contributions from Dr Angela Cassidy (Department of History, King’s College London), Dr Timothy Johnson (Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, Heriot-Watt University), Dr Stuart Parkinson (Executive Director, Scientists for Global Responsibility).

The session includes presentations on the ongoing UK controversy over culling wild badgers, exploring how public and policy debates have turned upon multiple expectations and interpretations of ‘the evidence’ (while uncertainties have been pushed to the margins); the history of mathematical probability, arguing that reflecting on the role of probability in finance could inform how science approaches radical uncertainty in general; and how the quality and communication of scientific evidence can be strongly influenced by vested interests, such as energy and defence companies, thus requiring serious thought about the importance of integrity and public values in research.

What do you think? Please use the comment section below to pick up on any points… 

Click the image for video

Click the image for video









  • A note on etiquette. First comments need to be ‘authorised’ by the blog owners as a way to register you onto the site. Please use your real name, unless there is a good reason not to. From then on, comments will not be moderated, except in the case of offensive or uncivilised comments/tone.
  • If you want write a guest post for this site, please send the text for uploading to Andrew Gibson or Cornelia Lawson.
  • Background information, including abstracts, profiles and posts on other blog sites, can be found on the conference website.
Posted in Evidence, uncertainty and values