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Presentation
Demonstrating objectivity in controversial science communication: A case study of GMO scientist Kevin Folta
OSSA Conference Archive
  • Jean Goodwin, North Carolina State University
Location
University of Windsor
Document Type
Paper
Keywords
  • argument,
  • argumentation,
  • controversy,
  • scientific objectivity,
  • candor,
  • science communication,
  • normative pragmatics,
  • trust,
  • GMOs,
  • Kevin Folta
Start Date
18-5-2016 9:00 AM
End Date
21-5-2016 5:00 PM
Abstract
Scientists can find it difficult to be seen as objective within the chaos of a civic controversy. This paper gives a normative pragmatic account of the strategy one GMO scientist used to demonstrate his trustworthiness. Kevin Folta made his talk expensive by undertaking to answer all questions, and carried out this responsibility by acting as if every comment addressed to him—even the most hostile—was in fact a question in good faith. This presumption of audience good faith gave in turn his audience good reason to presume his good faith, and a situation of reciprocal distrust was transformed into one with the potential for reciprocal candor.
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Citation Information
Jean Goodwin. "Demonstrating objectivity in controversial science communication: A case study of GMO scientist Kevin Folta" (2016)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeangoodwin/33/