1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
So am I a scientific expert or not?,
This review is from: Are We All Scientific Experts Now? (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This short book about the social science aspects of defining expertise in science raised more questions than it answered for me. The author wants to elevate the role of scientist back to that of the boffin in the white coat - for science to regain its respect - which is perhaps an admirable aim. However real life is not like that and we are criminally short of scientists and engineers in this country now. Making science seem too difficult is never going to encourage teenagers into it.
He uses some interesting cases to back his theories - the damage caused by the MMR vaccine and autism scandal, the SA government's decision not to give anti-retroviral drugs to pregnant women to prevent AIDS, 'Climategate' and the taking of scientists email chats totally out of context - all caused by the wrong kinds of experts.
These case-studies were fascinating, however I did find his analysis of all the different kinds of expertise and levels of such a little dry. We do need top scientists desperately, but we also need to popularise it and help understanding. (I think I was a scientific expert, but am not any longer!)