Setting Boundaries between Science and Law: Lessons from Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Science, Technology and Human Values 21 (2):131-156 (1996)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court made its first major pronouncement on the evaluation of scientific evidence, calling on judges to act as gatekeepers for scientific knowledge and validity, despite lack of scientific training among judges. Daubert offers the science studies community a case study for examining how judges engage in boundary-work and construct scientific validity. In constructing scientific validity under Daubert, judges must evaluate the scientific method behind a particular scientific claim, and will look to the parties' experts and the relevant scientific community for assistance. To combat the oft-cited problem of the battle of the experts, judges may be tempted to obtain assistance from court-appointed neutral experts, an inquisitorial system in the civil law tradition of many European countries. The judicial evaluation of scientific evidence, the resulting construction of scientific validity, and the push for a greater use of court-appointed experts reveal judges' desire to segregate "objective" scientific facts from aspects of the legal process that are infused with adversaries' values. Yet the scientific and judicial construction of validity mixes empirical results and research methods with the personal, political, and institutional values of judges and scientists.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,164

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

What is Science? What is Knowledge?Mary Gilbertson - 2003 - Teaching Philosophy 26 (2):147-161.
What is Science? What is Knowledge?Mary Gilbertson - 2003 - Teaching Philosophy 26 (2):147-161.
Falsifiability Revisited: Popper, Daubert, and Kuhn.Mark Amadeus Notturno - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy, Science and Law 15:5-25.
Of truth, in science and in law.Susan Haack - 2008 - Brooklyn Law Review 73 (2).
Understanding and Evaluating Expert Testimony in the Law.David Joshua Strauss - 2004 - Dissertation, University of California, Riverside
An English Daubert? Law, Forensic Science and Epistemic Deference.Tony Ward - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy, Science and Law 15:26-36.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-11-27

Downloads
5 (#1,457,296)

6 months
3 (#857,336)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ed Hackett
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Citations of this work

Science, truth, and forensic cultures: The exceptional legal status of DNA evidence.Michael Lynch - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (1):60-70.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Otto Neurath.

View all 7 references / Add more references