For many public debates, we turn to science for answers. We value it for its objectivity and rationality. But in last week’s edition of Neiler’s Peer Review (“What’s the deal with alcohol and health?”), I ended with a vexing question: why’s it take so many studies to figure things out? Science is a continuous process — but for us to get answers, it needs to “stop” somewhere. And according to a 2007 article by Haller and Gerrie, (“The role of science in public policy: Higher reason, or reason for hire?”), this stopping point can have unexpected consequences. What are the effects? And what can we do about it? In this week’s edition of Neiler’s Peer Review, I assess the situation.
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Haller SF, Gerrie J (2007) The role of science in public policy: Higher reason, or reason for hire? J Agric Environ Ethics 20: 139-165
For further reading:
Aschwanden C (2017) There’s No Such Thing As ‘Sound Science’. Accessed 26 Apr 2018: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-easiest-way-to-dismiss-good-science-demand-sound-science/