Bias and Values in Scientific Research

When interests and preferences of researchers or their sponsors cause bias in experimental design, data interpretation or dissemination of research results, we normally think of it as an epistemic shortcoming. But as a result of the debate on science and values, the idea that all ‘extra-scientific’ influences on research could be singled out and separated from pure science is now widely believed to be an illusion. I argue that nonetheless, there are cases in which research is rightfully regarded as epistemologically deficient due to the influence of preferences on its outcomes. I present examples from biomedical research and offer an analysis in terms of social epistemology.
Keywords science and values  bias  social epistemology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2008.12.005
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,904
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Kevin C. Elliott (2013). Douglas on Values: From Indirect Roles to Multiple Goals. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):375-383.
Gregor Betz (2013). In Defence of the Value Free Ideal. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):207-220.
Justin Biddle (2013). State of the Field: Transient Underdetermination and Values in Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):124-133.

View all 20 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

76 ( #40,475 of 1,725,430 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

16 ( #47,065 of 1,725,430 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.