In this talk I will argue for the following two points :
1) that all valuation, that is the establishment of a grading of values, should diminish the credibility of the scientific expert in the eyes of the lay-person and
2) that different techniques for bringing valuation to the surface in such a way as to maintain the objectivity of scientific expertise face important difficulties. The argument for the first point is based on the claim that the scientific credibility of expertise rests partly on the fact that scientists display an ‘objectifying attitude’ (in the sense of Van Fraassen, 2002), that is they objectivise the object their studies, they impose a distance between the object and the subject of study, etc. The establishment of a grading of values by scientists themselves violates the objectiying attitude. As a result, the lay-person may discern an indication of interests at play and/or a possible bias on behalf of the expert. The second point will be argued for via an analysis of valuation externalisation techniques such as described in literature in sociology (Lamont, 2012).
Alexandre Guay (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) Valuation, évaluation et expertise scientifique (talk delivered in French) (Valuation, evaluation and scientific expertise)
Thursday 12 March 2015, – Salle des Colloques, BSHM, 1251 avenue Centrale, University Campus of Saint Martin d’Hères. References Van Fraassen, B. C. (2008). The empirical stance. Yale University Press. Lamont, M. (2012). Toward a comparative sociology of valuation and evaluation. Sociology, 38(1), 201.