The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers / Edition 1

The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers / Edition 1

by Sheila Jasanoff
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674300629

ISBN-13: 9780674300620

Pub. Date: 08/28/1998

Publisher: Harvard

How can decisionmakers charged with protecting the environment and the public's health and safety steer clear of false and misleading scientific research? Is it possible to give scientists a stronger voice in regulatory processes without yielding too much control over policy, and how can this be harmonized with democratic values? These are just some of the many

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Overview

How can decisionmakers charged with protecting the environment and the public's health and safety steer clear of false and misleading scientific research? Is it possible to give scientists a stronger voice in regulatory processes without yielding too much control over policy, and how can this be harmonized with democratic values? These are just some of the many controversial and timely questions that Sheila Jasanoff asks in this study of the way science advisers shape federal policy.

In their expanding role as advisers, scientists have emerged as a formidable fifth branch of government. But even though the growing dependence of regulatory agencies on scientific and technical information has granted scientists a greater influence on public policy, opinions differ as to how those contributions should be balanced against other policy concerns. More important, who should define what counts as good science when all scientific claims incorporate social factors and are subject to negotiation?

Jasanoff begins by describing some significant failures--such as nitrites, Love Canal, and alar--in administrative and judicial decisionmaking that fed the demand for more peer review of regulatory science. In analyzing the nature of scientific claims and methods used in policy decisions, she draws comparisons with the promises and limitations of peer review in scientific organizations operating outside the regulatory context. The discussion of advisory mechanisms draws on the author's close scrutiny of two highly visible federal agencies--the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration. Here we see the experts in action as they deliberate on critical issues such as clean air, pesticide regulation, and the safety of pharmaceuticals and food additives.

Jasanoff deftly merges legal and institutional analysis with social studies of science and presents a strong case for procedural reforms. In so doing, she articulates a social-construction model that is intended to buttress the effectiveness of the fifth branch.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674300620
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
08/28/1998
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,428,391
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1. Rationalizing Politics

The Rise of Social Regulation

Science and Policymaking

Expertise and Trust

The Contingency of Knowledge

The Reform Debate

An Alternative Approach

2. Flawed Decisions

Nitrites

2,4,5-T

Love Canal

Estimates of Occupational Cancer

The Technocratic Response

A Critical Counterpoint

3. Science for the People

The Rationale for Public Science

The "New" Expert Agency

Scientific Advice and Open Government

Judicial Review of Science Policy

The Weakening of the Paradigm

4. Peer Review and Regulatory Science

The Traditions of Peer Review

Peer Review in Practice

Instructive Failures Regulatory Science: Content and Context

Implications for Regulatory Peer Review

5. EPA and the Science Advisory Board

Early Political Challenges

A New Cooperation Boundary Exercises

SAB's Impact on Policy

Conclusion

6. The Science and Policy of Clean Air

CASAC and the NAAQS Process

Science and Standards

Redefining CASAC's Role

The Carbon Monoxide Controversy

CASAC's Effectiveness: Bridging Science and Policy

7. Advisers as Adversaries

The Scientific Advisory Panel

Implementing the Impossible

Ethylene Dibromide

Dicofol

Alar

A Fragmentation of Authority

8. FDA's Advisory Network

The Scientific Evaluation of Drugs

Expertise and Food Safety

Advice and Decision

9. Coping with New Knowledge

The Quest for Principled Risk Assessment

Formaldehyde: An Uncertain Carcinogen

Conclusion

10. Technocracy Revisited

A Public-Private Partnership for Science

Risk Assessment without Politics

The Public Board of Inquiry

Wider Applications

11. The Political Function of Good Science

From Advice to Policy

Acceptable Risk

Scientific Advice as Legitimation: Negotiation and Boundary Work

Defining "Good Science"

Normative Implications

Conclusion

Notes

Index

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