The Politics of Scientific Advice: Institutional Design for Quality Assurance

The Politics of Scientific Advice: Institutional Design for Quality Assurance

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Cambridge University Press, 2011-06-02
EAN 9781107003705, ISBN10: 1107003709

Paperback, 402 pages, 22.9 x 15.6 x 2.4 cm

Controversies over issues such as genetically engineered food, foot-and-mouth disease and the failure of risk models in the global financial crisis have raised concerns about the quality of expert scientific advice. The legitimacy of experts, and of the political decision-makers and policy-makers whom they advise, essentially depends on the quality of the advice. But what does quality mean in this context, and how can it be achieved? This volume argues that the quality of scientific advice can be ensured by an appropriate institutional design of advisory organisations. Using examples from a wide range of international case studies, including think tanks, governmental research institutes, agencies and academies, the authors provide a systematic guide to the major problems and pitfalls encountered in scientific advice and the means by which organisations around the world have solved these problems.

“This impressive collection, featuring a stellar cast of leading thinkers in the field, provides an indispensable guide to anyone seeking to navigate the boundaries between science, politics and public policy.”
– James Wilsdon, Director of Science Policy, The Royal Society

“In a world where decision makers increasingly rely on expert advice, more attention than ever is needed on the capacity of scientific advisory bodies to bridge science and politics. Lentsch and Weingart not only help to fill this need with this timely and comprehensive volume, but do so in a way that emphasizes practical knowledge. This book is an important part of the bridge that they seek to build.”
– Roger Pielke, Jr., Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Colorado