Social Values and the Governance of Science

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Science  23 Dec 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5756, pp. 1908-1909
DOI: 10.1126/science.1119444

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Representative sample surveys in the United States, Canada, and Europe showed that although a majority of the public wanted science policy to be made by expert assessment of scientific evidence, others wanted a stronger public voice and more weight given to moral and ethical issues. The authors of this Policy Forum found that people's preferences, about who should govern science and on what basis, were found to be related to their opinions about the utility of science and the regulation of genetically modified food and stem cell research. Although sound science receives a vote of confidence, minority views should not be ignored.

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