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Bmj Usa

On experts

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 17 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:E340
  1. Douglas Kamerow, editor

It turns out that the word expert comes from the same root as the words experience and experiment, two very different concepts. All three derive from a Latin word defined variously as meaning try or test. Pairing the words—experience and try, experiment and test—nicely captures the current controversy about experts.

On the one hand, experts are people with experience in a certain field who have tried many things and have formed opinions and habits based on …

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