From expert evidence in the courtroom, to the use of scientific knowledge in the justification for, and framing of, legislation, law and science are inextricably intertwined. Yet the extent to which science is well represented in law has long been doubted by virtue of a ‘clash of cultures’ (Jasanoff 1992). The issue has become more pressing in recent years due to the growth of scientific and technological innovation, which draws into the adjudicative, legislative and policy realms areas of great scientific complexity for which legal expertise, in and of itself, proves insufficient (Vick 2004; Schrama 2011). Such work also highlights the significant barriers and obstacles for regulators understanding other disciplines and the problems that can result. The same dangers confront non-legal disciplinary experts that are drawn into, or whose work is ‘dropped’ in, the legal and political realms.
This workshop seeks to bring together a range of scholars, policy actors and others, whose diverse and innovative work addresses the complex meeting point of law and science, regulation and politics, evidence and epistemology.