The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers

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August 1998



In their expanding roles 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. Merging legal and institutional analysis with social studies of science, Jasanoff presents a strong case for procedural reforms.


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


Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.


[A] provocative and original work...Jasanoff has pioneered the exploring of the workings of the gears and sprockets of the Fifth Branch. -- Daniel S. Greenberg Nature [A] first-rate study...[Jasanoff's] findings have important bearing on the general concern with the impact of expertise on democracy. -- Sanford Lakoff Political Science Quarterly The problems of science and politics continue. Jasanoff's work will surely enlighten the debate. -- Susan Bartlett Foote Science Jasanoff focuses down sharply on a set of solidly researched case-studies involving the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, and their handling of regulations concerning clean air, pesticides, and the safety of pharmaceuticals and food additives. But this apparent narrowness belies the theoretical significance of the book, which far transcends its empirical base in these examples and, for that matter, in the United States. -- Philip Gummett Times Higher Education Supplement Thorough and thoughtful. [The Fifth Branch] will remain the definitive work in its field for a considerable time to come. -- Roger Williams Political Studies Reading this well-written book would be excellent preparation for any scientist planning to participate in regulatory science in an agency or to serve on an advisory panel. And its insights into the workings of advisory committees could be useful to many others...no other book so thoroughly reviews the role science advisory groups have played. -- John F. Ahearne Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
EAN: 9780674300620
ISBN: 0674300629
Untertitel: Revised. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: August 1998
Seitenanzahl: 320 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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