Evidence - its nature and interpretation - is the key to many topical debates and concerns such as global warming, evolution, the search for weapons of mass destruction, DNA profiling, evidence-based medicine. In 2004 University College London launched a cross-disciplinary research programme "Evidence, Inference and Enquiry" to explore the question: "Can there be an integrated multidisciplinary science of evidence?" While this question was hotly contested and no clear final consensus emerged, much was learned on the journey. This book, based on the closing conference of the programme held at the British Academy in December 2007, illustrates the complexity of the subject, with 17 chapters written from a diversity of perspectives including Archaeology, Computer Science, Economics, Education, Health, History, Law, Psychology, Philosophy and Statistics. General issues covered include principles and systems for handling complex evidence, evidence for policy-making, and human evidence-processing, as well as the very possibility of systematising the study of evidence.
William Twining is Quain Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at University College London. Philip Dawid is Professor of Statistics at the University of Cambridge.
Foreword ; 1. Introduction ; 2. Classifying Forms and Combinations of Evidence: Necessary in a Science of Evidence ; 3. Disciplining the Disciplines ; 4. Moving Beyond Law: Interdisciplinarity and the Study of Evidence ; 5. Inference Networks: Bayes and Wigmore ; 6. Arguing about the Evidence: A Logical Approach ; 7. Thinking about Evidence ; 8. Rhetoric and Argumentation in Evidence-Based Policy Making ; 9. Generalisations and Evidential Reasoning ; 10. Of Inference Networks and Onto-Epistemology ; 11. A Theory of Evidence for Evidence-Based Policy ; 12. What the Ravens Really Teach Us: The Intrinsic Contextuality of Evidence ; 13. Critical Distance: Stabilizing Evidential Claims in Archaeology ; 14. In Praise of Randomisation ; 15. Believing the Evidence ; 16. What Would a Scientific Economics Look Like? ; 17. Reasonable Doubt: Uncertainty in Education, Science and Law