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Science is supposed to be concerned with objective truth--where what is true remains so regardless of how passionately some would wish otherwise, or of how many might be persuaded to share their convictions. Facts determine what is believed, and the consequences, good or bad, fall where they may. Politics deals in matters that are within human ability to control. Beliefs are encouraged that promote political agendas, and in the process of selecting or distorting facts, and biasing arguments to shape outcomes, all too often it is truth that is left to fall where it may.
In this collection of articles, eleven leading scientists examine cases ranging from misapplication or overemphasis of results to outright manipulation of scientific findings to favor political goals. They show how the consequences affect the public in such ways as money and research effort being diverted from worthwhile scientific endeavors, the costs of unnecessary regulations, and the losses of useful products, while those responsible benefit through increased power and prestige.
Contributors: Bruce Ames, Roger Bate, Bernard L. Cohen, Lois Swirsky Gold, William Happer, Joseph P. Martino, Patrick J. Michaels, Henry I. Miller, Robert Nilsson, Stephen Safe, S. Fred Singer
TABLE OF CONTENTSForeword
Introduction: Science, Risks, and Politics
Chapter 1: Harmful Politicization of Science
Chapter 2: The Corrosive Effects of Politicized Regulation of Science and Technology
Chapter 3: Science and Public Policy
Chapter 4: Endocrine Disruptors
Chapter 5: Cancer Prevention and the Environmental Chemical Distraction
Chapter 6: Nuclear Power
Chapter 7: Science or Political Science? An Assessment of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change
Chapter 8: The Political Science of Agent Orange and Dioxin
Chapter 9: Science and Politics in the Regulation of Chemicals in Sweden
Chapter 10: How Precaution Kills: The Demise of DDT
Chapter 11: The Revelle-Gore Story: Attempted Political Suppression of Science
Michael Gough is a biologist who has participated in science policy issues at the congressional Office of Technology Assessment, in Washington think tanks, and on various advisory panels.