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What is the role of experts in modern societies? 


The experts developed a lot of roles in contemporary societies. Involved in tasks as diverse as the administration of justice, public health, food quality and environmental management Riesco. However, the definition of groups of experts for each topic is not always easy. It is also complicated his integration in the processes of democratic deliberation and decision-making, especially regarding controversial issues is for there are several viewpoints authorized.


Science, medicine and law

The participation of experts in court has increased considerably in the last two centuries. The experts provided new ways to detect poison, identify corpses report counterfeits and prosecute criminals, contributing to the greater weight of expert evidence before the witness statements. However, evidence based science does not always reduce the uncertainty of the guilty verdicts. In addition, disputes between experts within the court added additional complications, often encouraged by the confusion between scientific arguments and interests of litigants.


· Poisons: arsenic

The arsenic was the poison used in the nineteenth century more until they develop sensitive methods for their detection and testing Marsh. However, the high sensitivity of the new methods introduced new risks of false positives due to small impurities that could be introduced in the chain of custody of the samples.


· Among the drug and poison: alkaloids

Alkaloids are substances located in the fuzzy border between poisons and medicines. They served both to heal and to kill. In the hands of Claude Bernard (1813-1878), the great physiologist of the nineteenth century became scientific instruments, a sort of "chemical scalpels" used to conduct medical research in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


A group of experts: physicians Peset

The traditional chemical analysis methods were complemented at the end of the nineteenth century with new aircraft that joined the lab as the spectroscope, the colorimeter and sacarímetre. Although scientific instruments facilitate the work of scientists, their first uses often surrounded by controversy over its reliability and its transparpencia. However, when he finally accepted, provide authority and credibility to experts, so they can use the new devices to perform calculations, diagrams and graphic representations that are little understood by the layman.

Mateu Orfila i Rotger (1787–1853) was studying chemistry at the University of Valencia and creator of the science of poisons: toxicology.
Group of experts conducting the trial Marsh
Pedigree of family Peset linked to the world of medicine. Known for his work pharmacological and toxicological Vicente Peset Cervera (1855-1945) which have a private laboratory to perform chemical analysis. He also worked in the Chemical Laboratory Municipal de Valencia. His son, John the Baptist Peset Aleixandre (1886-1941) studied medicine and chemistry and became Professor of Legal Medicine and Toxicology of the Faculty of Medicine of Valencia. He was elected MP for the Popular Front in February 1936. Dresprés civil war was terminated by doctors and Falangists shot in Paterna in May 1941.
Apparatus for analyzing gases and especially for the investigation of gaseous poisons in the blood.
The sacarímetre (right) uses the optical properties to determine the concentration of substances such as sugar. The spectroscope (center) to detect chemical substances through the analysis of light emitted or absorbed and is the basis for many current techniques for medical diagnostics, food analysis, detection of poisons or astrophysics research. For its part, the colorimeter (left) to study the concentration of a substance by measuring the absorption of light that passes through.