Is a Little Pollution Good for You?: Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research by Kevin C. ElliottIs a Little Pollution Good for You?: Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research by Kevin C. Elliott

Is a Little Pollution Good for You?: Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research

byKevin C. Elliott

Paperback | April 8, 2014

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Could low-level exposure to polluting chemicals be analogous to exercise - a beneficial source of stress that strengthens the body? Some scientists studying the phenomenon of hormesis (beneficial or stimulatory effects caused by low-dose exposure to toxic substances) claim that that this maybe the case. Is A Little Pollution Good For You? critically examines the current evidence for hormesis. In the process, it highlights the range of methodological and interpretive judgments involved in environmental research: choices about what questions to ask and how to study them, decisions abouthow to categorize and describe new information, judgments about how to interpret and evaluate ambiguous evidence, and questions about how to formulate public policy in response to debated scientific findings. The book also uncovers the ways that interest groups with deep pockets attempt to influence these scientific judgments for their benefit. Several chapters suggest ways to counter these influences and incorporate a broader array of societal values in environmental research: (1) moving beyondconflict-of-interest policies to develop new ways of safeguarding academic research from potential biases; (2) creating deliberative forums in which multiple stakeholders can discuss the judgments involved in policy-relevant research; and (3) developing ethical guidelines that can assist scientificexperts in disseminating debated and controversial phenomena to the public. Kevin C. Elliott illustrates these strategies in the hormesis case, as well as in two additional case studies involving contemporary environmental research: endocrine disruption and multiple chemical sensitivity. This book should be of interest to a wide variety of readers, including scientists, philosophers, policy makers, environmental ethicists and activists, research ethicists, industry leaders, and concerned citizens.
Kevin C. Elliott is Associate Professor at Lyman-Briggs College and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University.
Title:Is a Little Pollution Good for You?: Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental ResearchFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:April 8, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199374066

ISBN - 13:9780199374069

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Societal Values and Environmental ResearchOverview of the BookChapter SummariesConclusion2. The Hormesis CaseSetting the StageBrief History of Hormesis ResearchChoosing and Designing StudiesDeveloping Scientific LanguageEvaluating and Interpreting StudiesApplying ResearchConclusion3. An Argument for Societal Values in Policy-Relevant ResearchBackground on Values in ScienceThe Easy CasesValues in the Development of Scientific LanguageValues in the Evaluation and Interpretation of StudiesConclusion4. Lesson #1: Safeguarding ScienceSpecial-Interest ScienceUniversity Conflict-of-Interest PoliciesAdditional RespnsesConclusion5. Lesson #2: Diagnosing DeliberationBackground on DeliberationExtending Diagnosis to Scientific ResearchDiagnosis of the Hormesis CaseConclusion6. Lesson #3: Ethics for ExpertsAn Ethics of Expertise Based on Informed ConsentApplication to the Hormesis CaseConclusion7. The MCS and ED CasesMultiple Chemical SensitivityEndocrine DisruptionConclusion8. ConclusionReveiwOngoing QuestionsConclusion