Scientific Expertise and Engagement Experts

  • Adam S. Lerner
  • Pat J. Gehrke


This chapter offers a perspective that combats both cynical and idealist forms of public engagement. Engaging in a conversation with the “demarcation problem,” this chapter suggests that a rhetorical standpoint helps reframe the difference between expert and nonexpert discourse and alleviates the cynical mindset. This conceptual development invites us to reconsider the authority of publics to deliberate on technical and scientific issues. Following our discussion of demarcation, ending with the collision between Kuhn and Popper, we examine how demarcation is enacted in legal settings. Our final task in this chapter is to briefly review and synthesize some of the arguments we have made in previous chapters and suggest that a rhetorical sensibility can assist in producing more ecologically valid public engagement with science.


Public Engagement Events Rhetorical Sensibility Legal Setting Cynical Purposes Rhetorical Studies 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam S. Lerner
    • 1
  • Pat J. Gehrke
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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