Heather E. Douglas is associate professor of philosophy at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the relationship between science and democracy, including the role of social and ethical values in science, the nature of scientists' responsibil
"Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal is an important
contribution to the debate over science and values, and its account
of value-laden science will be of interest to philosophers
concerned with policy, scientific objectivity, and the social
relevance of philosophy of science. A welcome invitation for
philosophers of science to engage more fully with policy issues, a
too-often neglected aspect of scientific practice."
--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"A thought-provoking book for all readers interested in science
studies, including philosophy, history, and sociology of science.
It is also highly recommended for those who study or work in the
decision oriented sciences, an activity that is becoming
increasingly relevant in science and politics in contemporary
--Science and Education
"A wonderfully evenhanded argument for the impossibility of
the 'value-free ideal' in science. Highly recommended."
"Clearly written, a pleasure to read."
"Occupies a unique niche bridging philosophy and risk
assessment. Everyone involved in providing and using scientific
advice, and in doing risk analysis in general, would benefit from
thinking about the issues and arguments presented in the book."
"Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the role of values in science. She clearly articulates at least one way in which values do play a legitimate, though indirect, role in science (in risk assessment). She correctly diagnoses some important reasons why there is resistance to recognizing this, and makes it clear why acknowledging the role of values explicitly can be important for using science to make better policy decisions."
--Sharon Crasnow, Riverside Community College
"An admirable and exciting book. . . . a useful starting point for thinking through such issues."
--S. John/Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
"Douglas has produced a valuable book that should be of interest not only to philosophers but also to historians, sociologists, policy makers, and practicing scientists. . . Douglas has also raised a number of important issues that scholars working in science studies will want to explore further."