办事指南

Experts' experts

点击量:   时间:2017-09-13 01:02:02

By Kurt Kleiner TO HELP judges and juries interpret the science in difficult cases, the AAAS plans to supply the courts with independent scientific experts. Legal experts agree that science is often misused in American courtrooms. “There is a growing disconnection between the way scientists approach a question and the way the courts do,” says Marcia Angell, executive editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. The problem, she argues, stems from the adversarial nature of the legal system, in which each side presents an extreme view based on evidence from its own experts, leaving the jury to choose who is right. Scientists, on the other hand, attempt to reach a consensus based on verifiable evidence. Under the AAAS plan, judges could ask the association to provide a credible expert to give independent guidance on the scientific questions in a case. Deborah Runkle of the AAAS announced last week that the organisation is applying for funding to set up the programme. Bernard Goldstein, a toxicologist at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, who often serves as an expert witness, agrees that scientists are frequently chosen because their views are on the extreme ends of an issue. As a result, the judge and jury never get to hear what the consensus is. But Thomas Henderson, a lawyer from Pittsburgh,