To ordinary people, science used to seem infallible. Scientistswere heroes, selflessly pursuing knowledge for the common good.More recently, a series of scientific scandals, frauds and failureshave led us to question science’s pre-eminence. Revelationssuch as Climategate, or debates about the safety of the MMRvaccine, have dented our confidence in science.
In this provocative new book Harry Collins seeks to redeemscientific expertise, and reasserts science’s special status.Despite the messy realities of day-to-day scientific endeavor, heemphasizes the superior moral qualities of science, dismissing thedubious “default” expertise displayed by many of thoseoutside the scientific community. Science, he argues, should serveas an example to ordinary citizens of how to think and act, and notthe other way round.