The ethics of doing policy relevant science: The precautionary principle and the significance of non-significant results [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Science and Engineering Ethics 4 (4):401-412 (1998)
The precautionary principle is a widely accepted policy norm for decision making under uncertainty in environmental management, However, some of the traditional ways of ensuring trustworthy results used in environmental science and of communicating them work contrary to the general goal of providing the political system and the public with as good an input as possible in the decision making process. For example, it is widely accepted that scientists should only communicate results fulfilling the traditional scientific standard for hypothesis testing. The need for introducing complementary norms in environmental science is illustrated by a recent discussion among scientists on how the precautionary principle should be used in the context of marine biological studies. This discussion highlights the importance of the use of statistical power in communicating scientific results to decision makers and to the general public as well as to the scientific peers. We argue that it would be unethical to report only certainties—because of the need of early warnings—and it would in the same way be unethical to hide the uncertainties. Environmental science can make a better contribution to environmental decision making, if the available knowledge is communicated in a manner which allows for insight on how strong the evidence is.
|Keywords||Precautionary principle scientific responsibility communication policy relevant science statistical power|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Christian Munthe & Stellan Welin (1996). The Morality of Scientific Openness. Science and Engineering Ethics 2 (4):411-428.
Citations of this work BETA
Raymond E. Spier (1999). An Approach to the Ethics of Cloning Humans Via an Examination of the Ethical Issues Pertaining to the Use of Any Tool. Science and Engineering Ethics 5 (1):17-32.
Similar books and articles
Anne Ingeborg Myhr & Terje Traavik (2002). The Precautionary Principle: Scientific Uncertainty and Omitted Research in the Context of GMO Use and Release. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 15 (1):73-86.
Steve Clarke (2005). Future Technologies, Dystopic Futures and the Precautionary Principle. Ethics and Information Technology 7 (3):121-126.
Jonathan Hughes (2006). How Not to Criticize the Precautionary Principle. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (5):447 – 464.
Anton Petrenko & Dan McArthur (2010). Between Same-Sex Marriages and the Large Hadron Collider : Making Sense of the Precautionary Principle. [REVIEW] Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (3):591-610.
Stephen F. Haller & James Gerrie (2007). The Role of Science in Public Policy: Higher Reason, or Reason for Hire? [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20 (2):139-165.
Anne Ingeborg Myhr (2010). A Precautionary Approach to Genetically Modified Organisms: Challenges and Implications for Policy and Science. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (6):501-525.
John Lemons, Kristin Shrader-Frechette & Carl Cranor (1997). The Precautionary Principle: Scientific Uncertainty and Type I and Type II Errors. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 2 (2):207-236.
Russell Powell (2010). What's the Harm? An Evolutionary Theoretical Critique of the Precautionary Principle. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 20 (2):181-206.
Carl F. Cranor (2001). Learning From the Law to Address Uncertainty in the Precautionary Principle. Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (3):313-326.
Stephen John (2010). In Defence of Bad Science and Irrational Policies: An Alternative Account of the Precautionary Principle. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):3 - 18.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #147,771 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #84,767 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?