The Politics of Expert Advice: Creating, Using, and Manipulating Scientific Knowledge for Public Policy

Overview

All fields of public policy in all political systems require expert scientific or technical advice. This is the first study of how scientific knowledge and opinion (and sometimes speculation) are transmitted to government authorities for use in public policy-making. It discusses the formal and informal processes of scientific advice-giving, and applies these to case studies taken from all over Europe. These include: a description of the Italian Government's reaction to the effects of Chernobyl and the role played...
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Overview

All fields of public policy in all political systems require expert scientific or technical advice. This is the first study of how scientific knowledge and opinion (and sometimes speculation) are transmitted to government authorities for use in public policy-making. It discusses the formal and informal processes of scientific advice-giving, and applies these to case studies taken from all over Europe. These include: a description of the Italian Government's reaction to the effects of Chernobyl and the role played by radiation experts; official scientific advice on Swiss nuclear power; the Black report on Sellafield and leukaemia in children, as well as policy on nuclear safety in Britain; and advice given to the French and other governments on the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. It traces the growth of public awareness of scientific issues in government, concluding that the politics of expert advice will become even more sophisticated in the future.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
1 Introduction: Science Policy and Government 1
2 Sources of Technological Controversy: Proximity To or Alienation From Technology? 17
3 Chernobyl Comes to Italy: The Reciprocal Relationships of Radiation Experts, Government Policies and the Mass Media 33
4 'Expert' and 'Political' Elements in Official Scientific Advice on Swiss Nuclear Power 49
5 Controversy and Authority in British Official Scientific Advice on Radiation: The Black Report on Sellafield and Children's Leukaemias 61
6 Advice, Legitimacy and Nuclear Safety in Britain 73
7 The State as a Blind Investor in Fundamental Research: Advice to the French and Other Governments on the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility 91
8 Conclusion: Science, Public Policy and the Authoritativeness of the Governmental Process 103
Note on Advising West European Governments: Inquiries, Expertise and Public Policy 119
Index of names 123
Subject index 127
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