Politics and Science in the Laetrile Controversy

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James C. Petersen, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: In an analysis of the dispute between the proponents of Laetrile and those opposing the substance, the impact of both knowledge and value factors is explored. First, six related knowledge disputes are considered, with an emphasis on the difficulties of conflict resolution. It is suggested that when Laetrile supporters failed to obtain a favourable adjudication within the scientific community, they expanded the scope of the conflict through the use of the courts, state legislatures, and the freedom of choice appeal. Government regulatory bodies and leading members of the American medical community have tried to limit the scope of the conflict through claims of specialized knowledge and expertise. Finally, the concept of 'adjudication' is introduced to place the Laetrile dispute in an intellectual context which emphasizes the role of both knowledge and value factors in scientific controversies.

Additional Information

Social Studies of Science, May, 1979, 9: 139-166
Language: English
Date: 1979
Laetrile, Cancer

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