Philosophy of Science
Participants in debates about developments in science and technology point to issues overlooked or downplayed by scientists—or, if the debate is among scientists themselves, by other scientists. Sometimes included among participants in debates are interpreters of science—sociologists, historians, philosophers, and scholars from other fields of Science and Technology Studies. Taking these scholars as the audience, this article asks what should we do if we identify a significant issue not yet subject to debate? In particular, what should we do when the overlooked issue is conceptual—a matter of how inquiry is framed—more than it is a matter of analyzing the evidence or applying the results? I address the title question in-principle, but my thinking is informed by the range of ways I have been working to influence research related to a specific case (summarized in an appendix). I do not argue for particular actions or provide a how-to guide; my goal rather is to promote more systematic attention to the mostly implicit models that scholars interpreting science have regarding their aspirations and strategies for influencing science.
Taylor, Peter J., "What to Do if We Think that Researchers Have Overlooked a Significant Conceptual Issue?" (2018). Working Papers on Science in a Changing World. 17.
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