Interests, Bias, and Consensus in Science and Regulation

Dose-Response Volume: 17 issue: 2, Article first published online: June 5, 2019; Issue published: April 1, 2019 doi:10.1177/1559325819853669

Posted: 10 Jun 2020

See all articles by Yehoshua Socol

Yehoshua Socol

Falcon Analytics

Konstantin Yanovskiy

Shomron Center for Economic Policy Research

Yair Shaki

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Scientists are human. As such, they are prone to bias based on political and economic interests. While conflicts of interest are usually associated with private funding, research funded by public sources is also subject to special interests and therefore prone to bias. Such bias may lead to consensus not based on evidence. While appealing to scientific consensus is a legitimate tool in public debate and regulatory decisions, such an appeal is illegitimate in scientific discussion itself. We provide examples of decades-long scientific consensus on erroneous hypotheses. For policy advice purposes, a scientific statement or model should be considered as the subject of proper scientific consensus only if shared by those who would directly benefit from proving it wrong. Otherwise, specialists from adjacent fields of science and technology should be consulted.

Keywords: Regulatory Science, Incentives, Radiation, Secondhand Smoke, LNT

JEL Classification: D72, D73

Suggested Citation

Socol, Yehoshua and Yanovskiy, Konstantin and Shaki, Yair, Interests, Bias, and Consensus in Science and Regulation (2019). Dose-Response Volume: 17 issue: 2, Article first published online: June 5, 2019; Issue published: April 1, 2019 doi:10.1177/1559325819853669, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3599791

Yehoshua Socol

Falcon Analytics ( email )

Hanevel 13/1
Karney Shomron, 4485500
Israel

Konstantin Yanovskiy (Contact Author)

Shomron Center for Economic Policy Research ( email )

Kley Shir 8
Karney Shomron, 44855

Yair Shaki

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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