Policy makers often claim that particular regulatory decisions have been driven by, or even required by science; their critics, in turn, have attacked the quality or the interpretation of that science. Such conflict has left the U.S. with a system that is plagued by charges that science is being “politicized” and that regulation lacks a solid scientific basis. As a result, needed regulation may be stymied, dubious regulations may be adopted, issues can drag on without conclusion and policy debate is degraded. Moreover, the morale of scientists is weakened, and public faith in both government and science is undermined.
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