Regardless of whether science is practised in industry, the academy, or government, its conduct inescapably shapes and is shaped by democratic institutions. Moreover, the involvement of science with public policy formation and democracy has dramatically increased over the centuries and, by all accounts, will continue to do so. In order to understand the functioning of science and democracy, it is necessary to acknowledge the complex relationship between them. Public Science in Liberal Democracy aims to do this from an interdisciplinary perspective, presenting an array of substantively different positions on the issues that it explores.
The volume focuses on three major questions: Can science retain independence and objectivity in the face of demands to meet commercial and public policy objectives? In what ways is scientific discourse privileged in the formation of public policy? How can scientific knowledge and methodology be made compatible with the interdisciplinarity and integration required of public policy formation and discourse? Representing a wide range of viewpoints, the contributors to Public Science in Liberal Democracy come from Canada, Europe, the United States, and Australia, and include practising scientists as well as scholars working in the humanities and social sciences. This timely and thought-provoking collection makes an important contribution to the literature and will appeal to anyone interested in scientific research and its political and philosophical ramifications in democratic society.
About the authors
Jene M. Porter is a professor emeritus in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.
Peter W.B. Phillips is a distinguished professor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan.