Journal article Open Access

Anti-social Epistemologies

Edmond, G.; Mercer, D.

The recent First Amendment litigation in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005) raises many issues of interest to social science and humanities scholars. This paper will focus on just two: the scope afforded to Steve Fuller to present his STS perspectives; and the way the Court appears to have put this expertise to work. The Court's formal receptiveness to Fuller's testimony reflects the symbolic significance of science–religion encounters and is inextricably linked to ongoing skirmishes at the margins of public science (Turner, 1980). The appropriation of Fuller's evidence, in ways that appear contrary to his expressed intentions, is consistent with the peculiar reception of other STS scholarship in legal settings in recent years. Fuller's intervention and the treatment of his evidence reinforce the need for more sophisticated approaches to courts, jurisprudential traditions, and legal rules and processes.

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