Science has been ubiquitous in public decision making in the United States in the 1980s and promises to serve no less a role in the decade and new century ahead. Government actions are justified on the basis of scientific evidence in an overwhelming array of issue areas. Legislating health warnings on cigarette packaging in the 1960s, banning the use of cyclamates, phasing down the lead content of gasoline in the 1970s, and denying construction permits for projects in ecologically sensitive locations are just a few of the multitudinous ways that our public agencies at various levels of government have availed of scientific expertise to assist in the making of public policy throughout the recent decades. Relying on science to make decisions or to resolve disputes is a political tactic, however, and one that threatens to subvert democratic decision making.
List of Tables and Figures -- Preface -- Acknowledgement -- 1. Political Uses of Science in Public Decision Making -- 2. The Dynamics of Advocacy Science -- 3. Consensus-Based Approaches to Handling Science -- 4. Power Dynamics in Consensual Procedures -- 5. Prospects for Change -- Appendix 1 -- Appendix 2 -- Bibliography – Index.