Error and Uncertainty in Scientific Practice

07-02-2014 | Publication

Assessment of error and uncertainty is a vital component of both natural and social science. This edited volume presents case studies of research practices across a wide spectrum of scientific fields. It compares methodologies and presents the ingredients needed for an overarching framework applicable to all.

Even though technoscientific research is as old as alchemy and pharmacy, agricultural research and synthetic chemistry, philosophers of science had little to say about it until recently. This book series is the first to explicitly accept the challenge to study not just technical or experimental aspects of knowledge production but the specific ways in which knowledge is produced in a technological setting. When one seeks to achieve basic capabilities of manipulation, visualization, or predictive control, how are problems defined and research fields established, what kinds of explanations are sought, how are findings validated, what are the contributions of different kinds of expertise, how do epistemic and social values enter into the research process?

And most importantly for civic observers of contemporary research: how is robustness and reliability achieved even in the absence of complete scientific understanding?

Paperback ISBN 9781138662278;
Hardback ISBN 9781848934160