Mercer, David, 2005, Seen but not heard? assessing the impact of STS in legal and regulatory settings involving controversial science, in A. Bamme, G. Getzinger & B. Wieser (Eds.), Yearbook 2005 of the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology & Society, Munchen: Profil Verlag GmbH, 351-365.
This paper examines some of the issues involved in making assessments of the impact of STS scholarship in controversial legal and regulatory settings. Three case studies are used: my personal experience as a member of a committee which provides advice to Australian science policy makers in relation to health issues associated with mobile telephones; the impact of recent STS citations in the US legal system; and the reception by US courts of STS expertise in litigation involving fingerprint evidence. In the first case study STS perspectives were available but ignored, in the second, cited, then marginalised, and in the third, openly resisted. Four factors are considered as explanations for these patterns of resistance: recognition/identity, articulation and translation, match/mismatch of knowledge frameworks, and political implications.