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2001 Controversy
Science Policy




Center for Science and Technology Policy Research

Science and Policy Conundrum

The collection and analysis of data and its availability to decision-makers are essential to the successful running of government. Because of the increased reliance on science to inform policy decisions the distinction between the roles of science and policy have become increasingly blurred and difficult to define for scientists, the public, and policy makers.

The role of science in politics has been debated in recent months by participants from across the political spectrum. Below are a few representative links to perspectives on this issue from different positions on that spectrum:

  1. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) investigated allegations that the current administration is distorting the quality of science used to inform policy by “suppressing, distorting, or manipulating the work “ carried out by federal agencies. The result was a report released in February 2004 and updated with more examples in April 2004 as “Scientific Integrity in Policymaking: An Investigation into the Bush Administration’s Misuse of Science.”
    1. The Administration's chief scientist, Dr. John H. Marburger III, responded to the UCS 1report in April 2004.
      1. The UCS responded to Dr. Marburger's response
  2. The U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Staff Committee on Resources, issued a report in 2002 "Weird Science: The Interior Department's Manipulation of Science for Political Purposes," that discusses ten instances in which the committee feels the Administration has misused science in policy making to achieve specific political goals.
  3. Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member, Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives maintains a webpage dedicated to tracking the use of science in the current Administration.
  4. Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado. Politicization of Science – Roger Pielke, Jr.
  5. Politicizing Science: The Alchemy of Policymaking. Michael Gough, ed.
    In this book eleven leading scientists describe the politicization—through misapplication or overemphasis of results that favor a political decision or through outright manipulation—of scientific findings and deliberations to advance policy agendas.
  6. Tech Central Station