Rethinking Expertise

Paperback | March 1, 2009

byHarry Collins

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What does it mean to be an expert? In Rethinking Expertise, Harry Collins and Robert Evans offer a radical new perspective on the role of expertise in the practice of science and the public evaluation of technology.

Collins and Evans present a Periodic Table of Expertises based on the idea of tacit knowledge—knowledge that we have but cannot explain. They then look at how some expertises are used to judge others, how laypeople judge between experts, and how credentials are used to evaluate them. Throughout, Collins and Evans ask an important question: how can the public make use of science and technology before there is consensus in the scientific community? This book has wide implications for public policy and for those who seek to understand science and benefit from it.

“Starts to lay the groundwork for solving a critical problem—how to restore the force of technical scientific information in public controversies, without importing disguised political agendas.”—Nature

“A rich and detailed ‘periodic table’ of expertise . . . full of case studies, anecdotes and intriguing experiments.”—Times Higher Education Supplement (UK)

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What does it mean to be an expert? In Rethinking Expertise, Harry Collins and Robert Evans offer a radical new perspective on the role of expertise in the practice of science and the public evaluation of technology.Collins and Evans present a Periodic Table of Expertises based on the idea of tacit knowledge—knowledge that we have but c...

Harry Collins is distinguished research professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Knowledge, Expertise, and Science at Cardiff University. He is the author of, most recently, Gravity’s Shadow and, with Trevor Pinch, Dr. Golem, both published by the University of Chicago Press. Robert Evans is reader in sociolog...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:March 1, 2009Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226113612

ISBN - 13:9780226113616

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction Why Expertise?

Chapter 1           The Periodic Table of Expertises: Ubiquitous and Specialist Expertises
Chapter 2           The Periodic Table of Expertises: Meta-expertises and Meta-criteria
Chapter 3           Investigating Interactional Expertise and Embodiment
Chapter 4           The Color-Blindness and Perfect Pitch Experiments
Chapter 5           New Demarcation Criteria

Conclusion         Science, the Citizen, and the Role of Social Science
Appendix           Waves of Science Studies
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Densely packed with new ideas, some intuitive and some decidely not."—Margaret Bennington-Davis, Psychiatric Services