5_Epstein - Lay Expertise

Questionsof credibilitymay emerge as particularly

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Unformatted text preview: uestionsof credibilitymay emerge as particularly alient in fields, such as AIDS research,that are markedby s extremedegrees of controversy, ncertainty, nd, in particular, oliticization a u p (cf. Martin1991, chap. 4). When variousinterestedpublics pay attentionto the progressof researchandexpect answers,a "credibility ap"may develop g if solutions are not forthcoming.Indeed, despite the suspicion of expertise that has become rampantin many quarters,people in advancedindustrial societies do typically expect doctorsand scientists to protectthem from the effects of epidemic disease. The failureof the expertsto solve the problem of AIDS quickly, as they were "supposedto" do, has heightenedpopular resentmentand diminishedthe credibilityof the establishment;it has also openedup more space for dissidentvoices. c s Credibility an reston a rangeof social markers uch as academicdegrees, trackrecords, institutionalaffiliations,and so on. The sheer complexity of AIDS froma scientificstandpoint ndthe profoundanddifferentiatedmpact a i of the epidemic have ensuredthe participation f scientists from a range of o o disciplines, all of them bringingtheirparticular, ften competing,claims to credibility.But the strikingfact aboutAIDS is that the politicizationof the epidemic has broughtabout a furthermultiplicationof the successful pathways to the establishmentof credibility,a diversificationof the personnel beyond the highly credentialed,and hence more convoluted routes to the constructionof facts and the establishmentof closure in biomedicalcontro-...
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2010 for the course ENG 000121 taught by Professor Mcgrand during the Spring '10 term at Cornell.

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