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Former U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert Explores the Role of Science in Policymaking
Science has a critical role in many high-profile national issues, and that makes it incumbent on scientists to engage openly and effectively with policymakers and to know their own strengths and limits, former U.S. House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert said in the 2007 William D. Carey Lecture.
In an address delivered at the 32nd AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy, Boehlert urged scientists to be open about the scientific uncertainty inherent in many issues. Further, he said, they should be keep a keen awareness about what is a science question and what is a policy question, and recognize that science is only one factor in a complex democratic process.
"I would hope that, beyond learning the specifics about a member [of Congress] or a piece of legislation, that delving into the policy world would lead to a greater appreciation of all the conflicting pressures, concerns, ideas and issues that politicians have to study, juggle and, ideally, master as part of their job," Boehlert said.
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