The Scientific Advisory System: Some Observations

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Science  24 Sep 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 4003, pp. 1211-1215
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.4003.1211


The scientific advisory system is effective on limited technical questions, and such questions provide much of its work. On broad technical questions, however, the scientific advisory system is not effective. Unfortunately this category includes most of the crucial environmental questions. Finally, the advisory system, as presently constituted, combined with the multiple functions of the scientific establishment, is detrimental in important ways to the process of technical decision-making in this country. This is because the combined effect of the advisory system and the establishment is to impede the development of a more effective and comprehensice role for the scientific community in the technical decision-making process.