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The Free Range Virtual Library:

Science, Policy, and the Transparency of Values

Environmental Health Perspectives, vol.122 no.7 pp.647-650, July 2014


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Resource information:
Resource IDelliotresnik2014
Resource titleScience, Policy, and the Transparency of Values
Author(s)Kevin C. Elliott, David B. Resnik
Publication/ sourceEnvironmental Health Perspectives, vol.122 no.7 pp.647-650
Date publishedJuly 2014
Summary text/ abstractOpposing groups of scientists have recently engaged in a heated dispute over a preliminary European Commission (EC) report on its regulatory policy for endocrine-disrupting chemicals. In addition to the scientific issues at stake, a central question has been how scientists can maintain their objectivity when informing policy makers. Both conceptual and empirical studies of scientific reasoning have shown that it is unrealistic to prevent policy-relevant scientific research from being influenced by value judgments. Conceptually, the current dispute over the EC report illustrates how scientists are forced to make value judgments about appropriate standards of evidence when informing public policy. Empirical studies provide further evidence that scientists are unavoidably influenced by a variety of potentially subconscious financial, social, political, and personal interests and values. When scientific evidence is inconclusive and major regulatory decisions are at stake, it is unrealistic to think that values can be excluded from scientific reasoning. Thus, efforts to suppress or hide interests or values may actually damage scientific objectivity and public trust, whereas a willingness to bring implicit interests and values into the open may be the best path to promoting good science and policy.
Library categoriesAnarchism & Action, Climate Change, Politics, Toxics
Added to Free Range Library14/10/2014
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