The Politics of Scientific Advice

The Politics of Scientific Advice : Institutional Design for Quality Assurance

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Controversies over issues such as genetically engineered food, foot-and-mouth disease and the failure of risk models in the global financial crisis have raised concerns about the quality of expert scientific advice. The legitimacy of experts, and of the political decision-makers and policy-makers whom they advise, essentially depends on the quality of the advice. But what does quality mean in this context, and how can it be achieved? This volume argues that the quality of scientific advice can be ensured by an appropriate institutional design of advisory organisations. Using examples from a wide range of international case studies, including think tanks, governmental research institutes, agencies and academies, the authors provide a systematic guide to the major problems and pitfalls encountered in scientific advice and the means by which organisations around the world have solved these problems.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 13 b/w illus. 7 tables
  • 1139102206
  • 9781139102209

Table of contents

Part I. Methodological Issues. Quality Control and Assurance in Scientific Policy Advice: 1. Introduction: the quest for quality as a challenge to scientific policy advice: an overdue debate? Justus Lentsch and Peter Weingart; 2. Quality control and peer review in advisory science Sheila Jasanoff; 3. Reconciling representation with reality: unitisation as an example for science and public policy Naomi Oreskes; 4. Looking for quality in all the wrong places: or the technological origins of quality in scientific policy advice Daniel Sarewitz; Part II. Collegial Science Advisory Bodies: 5. Knowledge, advice and influence: the role of the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 1970-2009 Susan Owens; 6. International Commission on Radiological Protection: policy and worldwide standards Christian Streffer; 7. The European Commission and the collection and use of science and technology advice Michael D. Rogers; Part III. Collegial Science Policy Advisory Bodies: 8. RMNO and quality control of scientific advice to policy Bert de Wit; 9. Quality assurance through procedures: policy advice by the German Science Council Andreas Stucke; Part IV. Research-Based Advisory Organizations: 10. The industrial organisation of economic policy preparation in The Netherlands Frank A. G. den Butter; 11. Quality control for the leading institutes of economic research in Germany: promoting quality within and competition between the institutes Gert G. Wagner; 12. Quality control and the link between science and regulation from a national and EU administrator's perspective Geoffrey Podger; 13. Science into policy: the European Environment Agency Sven Dammann and David Gee; 14. Reflective approaches to uncertainty assessment and communication Jeroen P. van der Sluijs, Arthur Petersen and Silvio Funtowicz; 15. Looking through the telescope: quality assurance in scientific advice to politics Reinhard Kurth and Susanne Glasmacher; 16. Scientific policy advice and foreign policymaking: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs Volker Perthes; Part V. Academies of Science: 17. Scientific advice for policy in the United States: lessons from the National Academies and the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment Peter D. Blair; 18. Quality control in scientific policy advice: the experience of the Royal Society Peter Collins; 19. European Academies Science Advisory Council Robin Fears and Volker ter Meulen; 20. Quality control in the advisory process: towards an institutional design for robust science advice Justus Lentsch and Peter Weingart.show more

Review quote

"This impressive collection, featuring a stellar cast of leading thinkers in the field, provides an indispensable guide to anyone seeking to navigate the boundaries between science, politics and public policy." - James Wilsdon, Director of Science Policy, The Royal Society "In a world where decision makers increasingly rely on expert advice, more attention than ever is needed on the capacity of scientific advisory bodies to bridge science and politics. Lentsch and Weingart not only help to fill this need with this timely and comprehensive volume, but do so in a way that emphasizes practical knowledge. This book is an important part of the bridge that they seek to build." - Roger Pielke, Jr., Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Coloradoshow more