Daubert — how are judges to judge science?
Beginning with Chief Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Daubert, there has been concern about trying to turn trial judges into "amateur scientists" despite their lack of preparation for evaluating scientific theories, methodology, and the social and institutional context in which the work of science is performed. Clearly, trial lawyers and judges must learn enough about science to avoid being duped by either "junk science" or those who would exclude legitimate expert testimony on the basis of inappropriate criteria. In an article in Boston College Law Review, David S. Caudill and Lewis H. LaRue emphasize that trial judges who fail to appreciate the social, institutional, and rhetorical aspects of science tend to reject reliable albeit pragmatic science, welcome unreliable albeit authoritative science, and thereby create a body of legal science that is out of sync with mainstream science. See Why Judges Applying the Daubert Trilogy Need to Know About the Social, Institutional, and Rhetorical — and Not Just the Methodological — Aspects of Science.