ISSUE-082

Critical judgment of work in any given field has little value unless it comes from someone who is an expert in that field.


Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


How can a piece of work be effectively evaluated? Some argue that unless such a critical judgement comes from an expert in that particular field, it has little, if at all, value. While I concede that an expert who has been working in that field certainly has more insight and therefore has more weight of voice in critical judgment, it does not necessarily mean that the aforementioned expert is the only authority who is capable of issuing critical judgment. From my point of view, not only a novice in that field but also experts from a different field are capable of critically evaluating a piece of work.

To begin with, no one would probably deny that the opinion comes from an expert in a given field bears more insight and has considerable value (1).

This is because to become an expert, one has to work in that field for a long period, during which time the expert would gradually grasp the history of the field’s development and understand the frontiers of that field (2). Hence, his or her perspective will be broader than non-experts, thus making the critical judgement undeniably valuable (2).

This is the reason why in the proposal solicitation and selection processes at the National Science Foundation, a panel is almost completely constituted with experts (3). Rarely can a novice or outsider participate in the discussion, because it is commonsensical that experts can be entrusted to effectively evaluate the proposal. For a similar reason, academic journal articles always need peer-reviews by experts in the field that the article belongs to. Hence, it is apparent that experts can give valuable judgement to a piece of work.


That being said, experts outside the field of interest may also be able to give valuable insight despite the fact that they are not directly involved in the field (1).

For instance, a physicist may not be considered as an expert in the field of biology, but he or she may still be able to give critical judgement on a piece of biology-related work (3). The justification behind this line of reasoning is that fields in modern science are often interconnected and are all built upon logic (2). Often, the methodology used in one field is also adopted by another field and the paradigm of doing research is very similar. Consequently, expert in one field can also make valuable critical judgement to another field.

For example, Richard Feymann was commissioned by NASA to investigate the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger. While this incident is an engineering-related issue, Feymann, a renowned physicist, accurately identified the issue to be a faulty O-Ring that became rigid at low temperature. Even this is not a case where Feymann gives a judgement to a work, it still establishes the ability of experts to give valuable comments to other fields, because such fields are connected.


Moreover, in fields that heavily depend on creativity and imagination, even a novice can sometimes give valuable judgement to a piece of work, for the reason that such fields often do not require one to acquire substantial amount of knowledge to effectively understand that field.

Cinematography are a good example. Not all movie critics are necessarily someone who has been working in the movie industry for an extended period of time, and many of them are actually young movie commenters who just entered this field and are built around online video platforms, such as CinemaSins and Honest Trailer, both on YouTube. Their success indicated by whopping view counts and wide popularity proves that judgement from non-experts can be also very valuable.


To summarize, although experts in a field can give many valuable comments and provide critical judgement on a work, it is not their exclusive rights to do so. Since different fields are interconnected and often they share the same principles of reasoning, experts from other fields may also be able to give comments that have high value.


3 次查看

最新文章

查看全部

Issue-156 Claim: Young people's tendency to make extensive use of portable devices like smartphones and tablets has hurt their development of social skills. Reason: These devices encourage users to fo

Issue-155 Some people believe that traveling to and living in numerous places increases one's ability to relate and connect to other people. Others believe that this ability is better cultivated by li

Issue-154 Some people believe that it is helpful to view a challenging situation as an opportunity for personal growth. Others believe that reimagining challenging situations this way occupies too muc