PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Scientific expertise, risk assessment, and majority voting

Scientists are often asked to advise political institutions on pressing risk-related questions, like climate change or the authorization of medical drugs. Given that deliberation will often not eliminate all disagreements between scientists, how should their risk assessments be aggregated? I argue that this problem is distinct from two familiar and well-studied problems in the literature: judgment aggregation and probability aggregation. I introduce a novel decision-theoretic model where risk assessments are compared with acceptability thresholds. Majority voting is then defended by means of robustness considerations.

Author Information:

Thomas Boyer-Kassem    
TiLPS / Philosophy
Tilburg University

 

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