J Epidemiol Community Health 65:1065-1069 doi:10.1136/jech.2009.094680
  • Essay

Subjective judgements in scientific practice and art

Editor's Choice
  1. Enrique Regidor1,2
  1. 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  2. 2CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Enrique Regidor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain; enriqueregidor{at}
  1. Contributors ER originated and wrote the article.

  • Accepted 25 March 2011
  • Published Online First 19 April 2011


Since art and science went their separate ways in the 18th century, the purpose of science has been to generate true knowledge based on reason and objectivity. However, during the second half of the 20th century, opinions emerged within science that showed the impossibility of eliminating subjectivity in scientific practice. This paper describes the similarity of the subjective judgements that form part of the peer-review system—the method devised by the scientific community to guarantee truth and objectivity—and the subjective judgements involved in artistic evaluation.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Free sample

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of JECH.
View free sample issue >>

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

Navigate This Article