“Decision Making at the State and Local Level: Does Science Matter?”

Susan G. Mason

Various beakers in science laboratory.Science is believed to be an important part of public policy decision making because of its inherent characteristics of measurability, rigor, objectivity, replication, and peer review. This article explores the linkage of science to public policy decision making by examining what state and local public officials know about science and how much they actually use science in their decision making. The results of interviews with public officials in the State of Idaho demonstrate that policy makers ultimately see science as just one of the elements in the mix when it comes to public policy decisions. As such, this research suggests that equal attention and debate should be given to how science interacts with all of the other the factors that affect the public policy making process.

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PS: Political Science & Politics / Volume 49 / Issue 01 / January 2016, pp 21-26

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