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.
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