The Problem of the Improbable Disruptors: Four Views on the Role of Science in Policy-Making

37 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2016

See all articles by Lucas Bergkamp

Lucas Bergkamp

Hunton & Williams, Brussels; KU Leuven, Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 7, 2016

Abstract

This is an essay on a pressing issue that is crucial to societal decision-making on an wide range of policy issues, from climate change to the war against terrorism: the politicization of science. It deals with the relation between science and policy-making in science-based regulation of chemical risk, but its purport is much broader. Specifically, I use a hypothetical case of a category of potentially hazardous chemical substances, called the Improbable Disruptors, to illustrate the various ways in which science can be influenced by special interests and explained to politicians, and how the metaphysical rules of science and the presentation of scientific information can be used to influence government policies and regulatory decisions.

Keywords: science-based policy, scientific advice, politicization of science, science-based risk regulation, philosophy of science, sociology of science, science and society, science studies

JEL Classification: I18, O38, Q28, Q58

Suggested Citation

Bergkamp, Lucas, The Problem of the Improbable Disruptors: Four Views on the Role of Science in Policy-Making (August 7, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2819675 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2819675

Lucas Bergkamp (Contact Author)

Hunton & Williams, Brussels ( email )

11, rue des Colonies
1000 Brussels
Belgium
+32 2 643 58 00 (Phone)
+32 2 643 58 22 (Fax)

KU Leuven, Faculty of Law ( email )

Tiensestraat 41
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

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