scientists generate and evaluate scientific evidence and explanations have long been the focus of study in philosophy, history, anthropology, and sociology. More recently, psychologists and learning scientists have begun to study the cognitive and social processes involved in building scientific knowledge. For our discussion, we draw primarily from the past 20 years of research in developmental and cognitive psychology that investigates how children’s scientific thinking develops across the K-8 years.
Evaluating Effectiveness (continued) zOrganized Approaches to Evaluation of Scientific Evidence yAmerican College of Physicians yAgency for Health Care Policy and Research yBC/BS Technology Evaluation Center yAmerican College of Cardiology yAmerican College of Urology
Scientific evidence is crucial in a burgeoning number of litigated cases, legislative enactments, regulatory decisions, and scholarly arguments. Evaluating Scientific Evidence explores the question of what counts as scientific knowledge, a question that has become a focus of heated courtroom and scholarly debate, not only in the United States, but also in other common law countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Controversies are rife about what is permissible use of genetic information, whether chemical exposure causes disease, whether future dangerousness of violent or sexual offenders can be predicted, and whether such time-honored methods of criminal identification (such as microscopic hair analysis) have any better foundation than ancient divination rituals, among other important topics. This book examines the process of evaluating scientific evidence in both civil and criminal contexts and explains how decisions by nonscientists that embody scientific knowledge can be improved.