Pierluigi Barrotta, Eleonora Montuschi

Inductive risk, scientific evidence, and local knowledge. A case study on the expert's role

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Extended Community of Inquirers, Fact-Value Dichotomy, Inductive Risk, Local Knowledge, Scientific Expert, Scientific Integrity.

In this essay, we will first assess the difference between two types of knowledge usually classified as expert and non-expert, namely scientific and local knowledge. Secondly, we will discuss whether these two types of knowledge are incompatible or complementary. Thirdly, we will argue that, were we to come to believe that they are complementary, a theoretical framework of conditions and practical requirements should be articulated to allow technical information and informal experience suitably to combine. To illustrate our argument we will make use of a case-study (the Vajont disaster) that aptly shows how official science and local experience may confront each other, and why at times they fail to do so.

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