Read a good article this morning in Science News by Janet Raloff about science in the courts – how the 1993 Daubert decision has changed the way courts handle scientific evidence in controversies. At the heart of the piece is the different views of the two cultures – science and the law:
Scientists question, test, evaluate, and retest various hypotheses, looking for an explanation that best fits the observations, says Douglas L. Weed of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. They’re not expecting “truth,” he notes, because they know that “uncertainty flows through science like a river.”
“Consumers of science, of which the law is one, have another use for science—to help answer whether one thing caused another,” says Weed.