Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries

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Alm provides a descriptive analysis of the science-policy linkage that defined the policy debate over acid rain in the United States. He focuses on the role that science and scientists played in both defining the acid rain problem as one worthy of policy consideration and in framing the acid rain issue in a way that would prompt action to reduce pollution levels.

A major concern of Alm's study are the problems scientists have in connecting to the policy side of environmental debates. He provides in-depth exchanges from the floor of Congress between scientists and policy makers as they debated the merits of reducing acid rain pollution. These exchanges provide special insight into the difficulty that scientists have in communicating the findings of their research to policy makers and the public. In addition, he uses in-depth interviews with the acid-rain scientists themselves to delineate the way they perceive how science is and ought to be linked to the policy world. Finally, Alm looks at the different perspectives offered by United States scientists versus Canadian scientists and natural scientists versus social scientists, and he examines the importance and implications of these differences to the future of environmental policy making in the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

Alm (political science, Boise State U.) takes the development of a transboundary air pollution policy between the US and Canada, centered on the problem of acid rain, as a case study to explore how science and scientists affect the making of environmental policy. Unlike most accounts of that influence, he takes the perspective of scientists rather than politicians, drawing on surveys and interviews conducted with scientists from both countries over three different time periods between 1989 and 1997. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275969165
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2000
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

LESLIE R. ALM is Associate Professor of Political Science at Boise State University.

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Table of Contents


The Science-Policy Linkage and Acid Rain

The Politics of Acid Rain: An Overview

Canada and the United States Acid Rain Debate

Science, Scientists, and Acid Rain

Scientists, Policy Makers, and Acid Rain

Scientists, Advocacy, and Objectivity

Acid Rain: From Science to Policy



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