Professor Vern R. Walker presented the program “The Logical Structures of Science-Based Reasoning” for the New York City Administrative Judicial Institute (part of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings) on May 26, 2015. The audience consisted mainly of administrative law judges in New York City, with the session also teleconferenced to judges in Albany.
The presentation surveyed argumentation or reasoning schemas for different types of scientific evidence, as it is produced in administrative or judicial legal proceedings. A “schema” is a template for creating arguments or lines of reasoning, in which values are substituted for different variables to produce specific arguments in particular cases.
The presentation provided a practical overview of the major types of reasoning that scientists use in a legal setting, as well as of the major types of arguments that attorneys use in supporting or opposing scientific evidence.
It then took a more in-depth look at the reasoning schema for scientific categorization or measurement.