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Are Expert Witnesses Whores? Reflections on Objectivity in Scholarship and Expert Witnessing

Kousser, J. Morgan (1982) Are Expert Witnesses Whores? Reflections on Objectivity in Scholarship and Expert Witnessing. Humanities Working Paper, 78. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130723-113045866

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Abstract

Some have derided the claim that historians or others who serve as expert witnesses or otherwise engage in advocacy live up to the usual standards of scholarly objectivity. A comparison of the modes of scholarly and advocacy production, based on my experience as an expert witness in six minority voting rights cases, however, suggests that the two modes are not very different, and that there are no compelling reasons to expect different outputs from them. The scholarly process is less pure and the adversary system provides more safeguards in this example than many suppose. Selling one's soul is both inefficient and dangerous. The comparison, however, has adverse implications for Lee Benson's recent proposal for the establishment of a formally associated group of social scientists, which would be unlikely, in my view, either to "change social science" in a desirable direction or to "change the world."


Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
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http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130829-142650480Related ItemPublished article
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Series Name:Humanities Working Paper
Issue or Number:78
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130723-113045866
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130723-113045866
Official Citation:Kousser, J. Morgan. Are Expert Witnesses Whores? Reflections on Objectivity in Scholarship and Expert Witnessing. Pasadena, CA: California Institute of Technology, 1982. Humanities Working Paper, No. 78.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39524
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:23 Jul 2013 22:23
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:08

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