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Cooper, Richard S. & Kaufman, Jay S. (1998). Race and Hypertension: Science and Nescience. Hypertension, 32(5), 813-816.


Although race is widely used in hypertension research as a marker of increased risk, its meaning as an etiologic quantity is obscure. Because of its importance as a social category in American life, separating what we “know” about race through socialization from what can be known on the basis of scientific inquiry is difficult. This dilemma represents a specific example of how social influences impact the conduct of science. While the process by which evidence is gathered and evaluated is usually constrained by an existing theoretical model (the “hypothetico-deductive process”), hypotheses arise more informally from the interplay of “inspiration” and “intuition.” Although hypothesis generation is at the core of scientific activity, it is peculiarly vulnerable to the influences of ideology. Contemporary perspectives on science as a practical human activity thus acknowledge that inspiration and intuition are the products of imagination and, as such, are derived from the investigator’s experience—both inside and outside the laboratory.


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Cooper, Richard S.
Kaufman, Jay S.