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Tradition and toxicity: evidential cultures in the kava safety debate.
Soc Stud Sci. 2011 Jun; 41(3):361-84.SS

Abstract

This paper examines the debate about the safety of kava (Piper methysticum Forst. f, Piperaceae), a plant native to Oceania, where it has a long history of traditional use. Kava became popular as an anti-anxiety treatment in Western countries in the late 1990s, but it was subsequently banned in many places due to adverse reports of liver toxicity. This paper focuses on the responses to the bans by scientists involved in kava research, contrasting their evidential culture with that employed by clinicians and regulatory officials. Cultural constructions and social negotiations of risk are shown to be context-specific, and are shaped by professional, disciplinary, and organizational factors, among others. Though the science of hepatotoxicity is uncertain enough to allow for multiple interpretations of the same data, the biomedical/clinical narrative about kava remains dominant. This case study explores the influence of these cultural, social, and political factors on the production of scientific knowledge and the assessment of benefit/risk posed by comestibles.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Anthropology, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. bakerjon@hawaii.edu

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21879526

Citation

Baker, Jonathan D.. "Tradition and Toxicity: Evidential Cultures in the Kava Safety Debate." Social Studies of Science, vol. 41, no. 3, 2011, pp. 361-84.
Baker JD. Tradition and toxicity: evidential cultures in the kava safety debate. Soc Stud Sci. 2011;41(3):361-84.
Baker, J. D. (2011). Tradition and toxicity: evidential cultures in the kava safety debate. Social Studies of Science, 41(3), 361-84.
Baker JD. Tradition and Toxicity: Evidential Cultures in the Kava Safety Debate. Soc Stud Sci. 2011;41(3):361-84. PubMed PMID: 21879526.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Tradition and toxicity: evidential cultures in the kava safety debate. A1 - Baker,Jonathan D, PY - 2011/9/2/entrez PY - 2011/9/2/pubmed PY - 2011/9/16/medline SP - 361 EP - 84 JF - Social studies of science JO - Soc Stud Sci VL - 41 IS - 3 N2 - This paper examines the debate about the safety of kava (Piper methysticum Forst. f, Piperaceae), a plant native to Oceania, where it has a long history of traditional use. Kava became popular as an anti-anxiety treatment in Western countries in the late 1990s, but it was subsequently banned in many places due to adverse reports of liver toxicity. This paper focuses on the responses to the bans by scientists involved in kava research, contrasting their evidential culture with that employed by clinicians and regulatory officials. Cultural constructions and social negotiations of risk are shown to be context-specific, and are shaped by professional, disciplinary, and organizational factors, among others. Though the science of hepatotoxicity is uncertain enough to allow for multiple interpretations of the same data, the biomedical/clinical narrative about kava remains dominant. This case study explores the influence of these cultural, social, and political factors on the production of scientific knowledge and the assessment of benefit/risk posed by comestibles. SN - 0306-3127 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21879526/Tradition_and_toxicity:_evidential_cultures_in_the_kava_safety_debate_ L2 - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0306312710395341?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -