David Mercer is an Associate Professor in the STS programme at the University of Wollongong and a member of the National Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science of the Australian Academy of Science. He has published widely on scientific controversy, science and expertise in law and regulation and the history of communication technology. Case studies have included, Bendectin (pharmaceutical safety), Electric and Magnetic Fields (safety of powerlines/mobile telephones/telecommunications technology), Creation Science (problems of fringe science), Daubert (evidence jurisprudence and the role of corporate shaping of legal and regulatory standards for science) and Evidence Based Medicine (audit culture and vertical integration of expertise).
He is currently investigating the emergence of the field of synthetic biology with a particular focus on questions such as: Does the engineering orientation of synthetic biology require new forms of expertise, ‘norms’ and patterns of professionalization? Does the field require intensified external regulation or new forms of regulation? What opportunities are open for STS analysts to participate, critique or collaborate in the development of the field?
Gary Edmond and David Mercer, ‘Norms and Irony in the Biosciences: Ameliorating Critique in Synthetic Biology’, Law and Literature, (2009) Vol 21, 3, 445-470.
Robert Brown and David Mercer, ‘The Social Shaping of Technology: Lessons for Eco-Innovators’, Australasian Journal of Information Systems, Vol 16, Number 2, (2009)
David Mercer, ‘Science, Legitimacy, and Folk Epistemology in Medicine and Law; Parallels Between Legal Reforms to the Admissibility of Expert Evidence and Evidence Based Medicine’, Social Epistemology Vol 22. No. 4 October- December (2008), pp: 405-23.
Gary Edmond and David Mercer: ‘ Special Issue of Law and Policy: 30 years of key contributions to Law and Policy ‘Daubert and the exclusionary ethos: The Convergence of Corporate and Judicial Attitudes towards the Admissibility of Expert Evidence in Tort Litigation’ Virtual Issue: Volume 30 (2008)
David Mercer, ‘Capturing the positive educational possibilities of creation science debates?’ in L. S. Jones and M. Reiss (eds) Teaching about Scientific Origins: Taking Account of Creationism, Peter Lang Publishing, New York (2007): 43-58.