Litigation Science After the Knowledge Crisis
Edith Beerdsen, Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering, New York University School of Law
This Article is the first to address the broad implications of the Replication Crisis for the production of scientific knowledge in a civil-litigation context. Drawing on insights from the Crisis, it argues that current procedural practice is simply incapable of providing a court with the information it needs to make an accurate assessment of the reliability of scientific evidence. The Article identifies a number of core principles, drawn from the response of academic science to the Replication Crisis, that can guide reforms to the treatment of scientific evidence in civil litigation. It argues that shoring up the courts’ capacity to evaluate scientific evidence requires a rethinking of the entire chain of creation of scientific knowledge and a re-framing of the role of the court in that chain.