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Uncertainty : how it makes science advance

Author: Kostas Kampourakis; Kevin McCain
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, [2020]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Scientific knowledge is the most solid and robust kind of knowledge that humans have because of the self-correcting character inherent in its own processes. Nevertheless, anti-evolutionists, climate denialists, and anti-vaxxers, among others, question some of the best-established scientific findings, making claims that are unsupported by empirical evidence. A common aspect of these claims is the reference to the  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Kostas Kampourakis; Kevin McCain
ISBN: 9780190871666 0190871660
OCLC Number: 1104858817
Description: xii, 254 pages ; 19 cm
Contents: Uncertainty in everyday life --
The psychology of (un)certainty --
Uncertainty in science : isn't it a problem? --
In science we trust-or don't we? --
Is scientific rigor declining? --
Uncertainties in climate science --
Uncertainties in vaccination --
Uncertainties in human evolution --
Uncertainties in genetic testing --
Uncertainties in forensic science --
Uncertainty is inherent in science --
Uncertainty in scientific explanations --
Uncertainty in scientific predictions --
Understanding versus being certain --
How uncertainty makes science advance.
Responsibility: Kostas Kampourakis, Kevin McCain.

Abstract:

Anti-evolutionists, climate denialists, and anti-vaxxers, among others, question some of the best-established scientific findings by referring to the uncertainties in these areas of research.  Read more...

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This is a wonderfully clear and engaging book on a very important and topical issue: How can science contribute to solving the problems society faces today? The cases are well chosen and the Read more...

 
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Nevertheless, anti-evolutionists, climate denialists, and anti-vaxxers, among others, question some of the best-established scientific findings, making claims that are unsupported by empirical evidence. A common aspect of these claims is the reference to the uncertainties in these domains, which leads to the conclusion that science is uncertain about evolution, climate change, vaccination, and so on. However, this is inaccurate. The truth of the matter is that whereas the broad picture is clear, there exist - and will always exist - uncertainties about the details of the respective phenomena. In this book we show that uncertainty is an inherent feature of science that does not devalue it. In contrast, uncertainty actually makes science advance because it motivates further research. This is the first book on this topic that draws on philosophy of science to explain what uncertainty in science is and how it makes science advance. It contrasts evolution, climate change, and vaccination, where the uncertainties are exaggerated, and genetic testing and forensic science where the uncertainties are usually overlooked. The goal is to discuss the scientific, psychological, and philosophical aspects of uncertainty in order to explain what it really is, what kind of problems it actually poses, and why in the end it makes science advance. 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