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Expert Opinion

By conventional definition, an expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of knowledge, technique, or skill whose judgment is accorded authority and status by the public or their peers. The expert differs from the specialist in that a specialist has to be able to solve a problem and an expert has to know its solution. The opposite of an expert is generally known as a layperson, while someone who occupies a middle grade of understanding is generally known as a technician and often employed to assist experts. A person may well be an expert in one field and a layperson in many other fields. The concepts of experts and expertise are debated within the field of epistemology under the general heading of expert knowledge. In contrast, the opposite of a specialist would be a generalist, somebody with expertise in many fields.

When written by an Expert, a white paper is an authoritative report. White papers are used to educate customers, collect leads for a company, or help people make decisions. They can also be a government report outlining policy. Many white papers today espouse the benefits of particular technologies and products. These types of white papers are almost always marketing communications documents and are designed to promote a specific company's solutions or products as it relates to the issue or topic examined. As a marketing tool, it is important to note that these papers will always highlight information favorable to the company authoring or sponsoring the paper while minimizing any negative aspects related to the company's involvement with the issue, product or technology. Today the commercial white paper is the most common type of white paper. Such white papers are used to collect leads, establish thought leadership or close sales - this is quite different from the original use of white papers. Because of their persuasive nature, white papers should be carefully crafted to avoid the perception of salesmanship. This can be easily accomplished by inserting key educational content that is relevant to the intended readers. White papers should begin by focusing on the needs of readers, rather than the specific solution suggested by the paper's sponsor.

The staff at Walker Downey & Associates is widely recognized as experts in their respective fields owing to their many years of professional work experience, extensive academic training, board certifications, and professional affiliations. Dr. McLain, for example, in his capacity as a decades-long practicing toxicologist and as the current convener of ISO 10993-11 (Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices Ė Systemic Toxicity Evaluation), has helped numerous clients navigate the hurdles of product development within their specific regulatory framework. His authoritative, evidence-based Expert Opinions, or White Papers, have been viewed by numerous international regulatory agencies in support of his clientís submissions.

Expert Opinions can be useful at any stage of the product development cycle. Whether itís a third-party review or a requisite regulatory/safety dialogue, Walker Downey & Associates is ready, willing and able to take on the task. Contact us to discuss your needs.

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