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The problems of increasing transparency on uncertainty
Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
King’s College London, UK.
2018 (English)In: Public Understanding of Science, ISSN 0963-6625, E-ISSN 1361-6609, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 131-138Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Public regulators (such as European Food Safety Authority, European Medicines Agency, and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) are placing increasing demands on scientists to make uncertainties about their evidence transparent to the public. The stated goal is utilitarian, to inform and empower the public and ensure the accountability of policy and decision-making around the use of scientific evidence. However, it is questionable what constitutes uncertainty around the evidence on any given topic, and, while the goal is laudable, we argue the drive to increase transparency on uncertainty of the scientific process specifically does more harm than good, and may not serve the interests of those intended. While highlighting some of the practical implications of making uncertainties transparent using current guidelines, the aim is to discuss what could be done to make it worthwhile for both public and scientists.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018. Vol. 27, no 2, p. 131-138
Keywords [en]
Public knowledge, Regulators, Scientific practices, Transparency, Uncertainty
National Category
Communication Studies Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-83155DOI: 10.1177/0963662517711058ISI: 000426018800002PubMedID: 28535719Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85040832077OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-83155DiVA, id: diva2:1317768
Available from: 2019-05-23 Created: 2019-05-23 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Heath, Amanda J.

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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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