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Refining Expertise
Author: Gwen Ottinger

ISBN: 9780814762370
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 17 February 2013
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.5 x 2.3

Winner of the 2015 Rachel Carson Prize presented by the Society for Social Studies of Science

Residentsof a small Louisiana town were sure that the oil refinery next door wasmaking them sick. As part of a campaign demanding relocation away from therefinery, they collected scientific data to prove it. Their campaign ended witha settlement agreement that addressed many of their grievances-but not concernsabout their health. Yet, instead of continuing to collect data, residents beganto let refinery scientists' assertions that their operations did notharm them stand without challenge. What makes a community moveso suddenly from actively challenging to apparently accepting experts'authority?

RefiningExpertise arguesthat the answer lies in the way that refinery scientists and engineers definedthemselves as experts. Rather than claiming to be infallible, they beganto portray themselves asresponsible-committed to operating safelyand to contributing to the well-being of the community. The volume showsthat by grounding their claims to responsibility in in...

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