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Profesor David Caudill
Villanova University

Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk (2018) introduces the reader to the phenomenon of willful ignorance regarding science in the Trump Administration. With respect to science issues, Lewis highlights the effect of political agendas and conflicts of interest. These issues are ripe for analysis under so-called third wave theory, especially as they relate to two chapters in the new collection of essays entitled The Third Wave in Science and Technology Studies (2019)—namely Durant’s essay on ignoring science, and Weinel’s essay on counterfeit scientific controversies. I will draw on these two chapters to put Lewis’s critique in terms of Collins & Evans’ “architecture of expertise” and their own third wave book Why Democracies Need Science (2017). My conclusion will be that third wave theory provides timely insights concerning political influences on science.

Dr. David Caudill is Professor and Goldberg Family Chair in Law at Villanova University School of Law, where he teaches Evidence, and Senior Fellow at Melbourne University Law School, where he teaches Expert Evidence. He is the author of Stories About Science in Law: Literary and Historical Images of Acquired Expertise (2011, Ashgate), co-author of No Magic Wand: The Idealization of Science in Law (with L.H. LaRue, 2006, Rowman & Littlefield), and co-editor of The Third Wave in Science and Technology Studies: Future Research Directions on Expertise and Experience (2019, Palgrave Macmillan). He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (1989), and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center (1981). He practiced law for 7 years in San Diego and Austin before joining the law faculty at Washington & Lee University in 1989, and he taught there 16 years before joining the Villanova law faculty in 2005.

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