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Table of Contents

Preface Part I. Dealing with Uncertainty Chapter 1 Uncertainty in Everyday Life Chapter 2 The Psychology of (Un)certainty Chapter 3 Uncertainty in Science - Isn't It a Problem? Chapter 4 In Science We Trust - or Don't We? Chapter 5 Is Scientific Rigor Declining? Part II. Uncertainties in Science: Some Case Studies Chapter 6 Uncertainties in Climate Science Chapter 7 Uncertainties in Vaccination Chapter 8 Uncertainties in Human Evolution Chapter 9 Uncertainties in Genetic Testing Chapter 10 Uncertainties in Forensic Science Part III. Accepting Uncertainty in Science Chapter 11 Uncertainty is Inherent in Science Chapter 12 Uncertainty in Scientific Explanation Chapter 13 Uncertainty in Scientific Prediction Chapter 14 Understanding vs. Being Certain Chapter 15 How Uncertainty Makes Science Advance Notes Index

About the Author

Kostas Kampourakis is the author and editor of several books about evolution, genetics, philosophy, and history of science. From 2015 to 2019 he was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Science & Education. He is currently a researcher at the University of Geneva, where he also teaches at the Section of Biology and the University Institute for Teacher Education (http://kampourakis.com) Kevin McCain is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research is primarily focused on epistemology and philosophy of science, particularly where the two intersect. He is a series editor for Routledge Studies in Epistemology and the author of numerous works in epistemology and philosophy of science.


"Through case studies that include climate science, vaccination, and human evolution, Kampourakis and McCain emphasize not only why uncertainty is inherent to the continual advancement of science, but also how a misunderstanding of this fact is repeatedly used by special interests to mislead the public. With quotations from an impressively wide range of sources - from philosophers to outstanding scientists - this short book will motivate its readers to think deeply about what is meant by 'scientific understanding', as well as to explore the valuable references that are cited, many of which they would otherwise miss." --Bruce Alberts, Chancellor's Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education, University of California, San Francisco, Former Editor-in-Chief, Science magazine (2008-2013), President Emeritus, US National Academy of Sciences (1993-2005) "Kampourakis and McCain have produced a provocative book of enumerable insights. They have navigated skillfully through a bramble bush of prickly problems and come out of it with a coherent analysis of science that elevates the concept of "uncertainty" without diminishing the standing of science. As one trained in and familiar with the scholarship of philosophy of science, I appreciated every line of inquiry and every argument in the book. To me it brings together philosophy of science, social psychology and the social studies of science in a way that explains human behavior and irrational skepticism towards strongly supported scientific claims." --Sheldon Krimsky, Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities & Social Sciences, Tufts University "This is a wonderfully clear and engaging book on a very important and topical issue: How can science contribute to solving the problems society faces today? The cases are well chosen and the philosophical chapters do a great job in synthesizing many insights from recent philosophy of science into a coherent whole. The book succeeds admirably in showing the societal relevance of philosophical reflection on science." -- Henk de Regt, Professor of Philosophy of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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