Measurement and Objectivity: Some Problems of Energy Technology

  • Ian Lowe
Part of the Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 5)


It has been almost an axiom of practising scientists and technologists that they deal in objective knowledge, with the arbiter between competing theories being the impartial measurement of a specified variable. In what follows, a range of examples from the broad field of energy technology are considered. The examples chosen are the hazards of low-level ionising radiation, the operating safety of nuclear reactors, the containment of radioactive waste, the life-time of energy resources, and the viability of “alternative” energy sources. Brief references to other controversial measurements — causal links with incidence of cancer, the testing of pharmaceuticals, the safety of the irradiation of food and the efficacy of fluoridating public water supplies — establish that the conclusions drawn from these examples have a much wider generality.


International Atomic Energy Agency Wind Power Radioactive Waste Public Water Supply Nuclear Fuel Cycle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Lowe
    • 1
  1. 1.Griffith UniversityAustralia

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