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Feminist Values, Commercial Values, and the Bias Paradox in Biomedical Research

  • Kristen IntemannEmail author
  • Inmaculada de Melo-Martín
Chapter
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 317)

Abstract

Growing concerns about the commercialization of biomedical research and its potential to lead to biased inquiry has sparked calls for a renewed commitment to impartiality. Feminists, however, have roundly rejected the idea that objectivity requires scientists to be value-neutral or disinterested. Indeed, some feminists have argued that concerns about profit-driven would be best addressed by incorporating feminist values into scientific practices. This is thought to present feminists with a paradox: If commercial interests are problematic in research because they are partial to non-epistemic interests, then it would seem that feminist values would also be problematic on similar grounds. Here we argue that this apparent tension trades on an equivocation about the sense in which commercial values are problematically partial. We show not only that the bias paradox can be resolved by feminist theorists, but that feminist values can play important roles in addressing concerns related to bias in profit-driven research.

Keywords

Objectivity Bias paradox Feminist values Biomedical research Commercialized science 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Montana State UniversityBozemanUSA
  2. 2.Weill Cornell Medical CollegeCornell UniversityNew YorkUSA

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