Law Text Culture


The following article provides a brief sketch of some important themes that can be drawn from studies which have investigated law/science interactions from a Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (SSK) perspective and notes some of the policy ramifications of such studies. SSK studies can be characterised by their analytical concern with linking the content of scientific knowledge and the practices of scientists to the social contexts in which scientific knowledge claims are produced and evaluated and their rejection of the idea that science is something that can be defined by its unique method and social norms (Mulkay 1979, Collins & Pinch 1993, Lynch & Bogen 1997). Many SSK/law studies have focused on controversial areas of science and law such as toxic torts, forensic science and risk and environmental regulation. The brief overview provided below will identify some important, recurrent conceptual themes rather than provide an exhaustive bibliographic survey.