Dalhousie Law Journal


scientific testimony, science, poorly-conducted, dishonest, law, scientific method, legitimacy


Modern legal systems increasingly depend on scientific testimony; but they also need somehow to ensure, so far as possible, that fact-finders aren't misled by highly speculative, poorly-conducted, or dishonestly-presented science. The Critical Common-sensist understanding of science that the author has developed in Defending Science and elsewhere sheds some light on why these interactions between law and science have proven so problematic. But Ms. Acharya's approach to these difficult issues rests on a flawed conception of the supposed "scientificmethod,"and an idea of legal "legitimacy" too weak to bear the weight she places on it; and her claim that the author "idealizes" science is based on serious misunderstandings.