Robert Boyle Summer School: Science Denial - Will Any Knowledge Do?
Dr Robert P. Crease, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University, New York, asks “Science Denial: will any knowledge do?” What kind of authority does science have in politics and public life? What should it have? Scientific authority seems at a low point in many countries thanks to the flourishing of science denial, or the rejection of science in areas where political, economic, and religious interests come into play. It is easy to blame this on villains like the press, scientific illiteracy, posturing politicians, and irrationality, but the real answer is complicated. Understanding science denial, and how to counter it, requires shifting the focus from the “What” in the question “What do we know?” to the “we" and the “know.” Professor Crease has written, translated, or edited over a dozen books on history and philosophy of science. Crease is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Physics in Perspective, and writes a monthly column, “Critical Point,” for Physics World magazine, on the philosophy and history of science.