This is the first book to explore how to identify future-proof science. Peter Vickers takes a transdisciplinary approach in his analysis of 'scientific fact' in order to defend science against potentially dangerous scepticism.
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Is science getting at the truth? The sceptics - those who spread doubt about science - often employ a simple argument: scientists were 'sure' in the past, and then they ended up being wrong. Through a combination of historical investigation and philosophical-sociological analysis, Identifying Future-Proof Science defends science against this potentially dangerous scepticism. Indeed, we can confidently identify many scientific claims that are future-proof:
they will last forever, so long as science continues. How do we identify future-proof claims? This appears to be a new question for science scholars, and not an unimportant one. Peter Vickers argues that the best way to identify future-proof science is to avoid any attempt to analyse the relevant first-order
scientific evidence, instead focusing purely on second-order evidence. Specifically, a scientific claim is future-proof when the relevant scientific community is large, international, and diverse, and at least 95% of that community would describe the claim as a 'scientific fact'. In the entire history of science, no claim meeting these criteria has ever been overturned, despite enormous opportunity.