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The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics [Anglais] [Broché]

Roger A. Pielke Jr

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Description de l'ouvrage

19 avril 2007
Scientists have a choice concerning what role they should play in political debates and policy formation, particularly in terms of how they present their research. This book is about understanding this choice, what considerations are important to think about when deciding, and the consequences of such choices for the individual scientist and the broader scientific enterprise. Rather than prescribing what course of action each scientist ought to take, the book aims to identify a range of options for individual scientists to consider in making their own judgments about how they would like to position themselves in relation to policy and politics. Using examples from a range of scientific controversies and thought-provoking analogies from other walks of life, The Honest Broker challenges us all - scientists, politicians and citizens - to think carefully about how best science can contribute to policy-making and a healthy democracy.

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Revue de presse

'With an analytical honesty unmarred by hidden agendas, Roger Pielke brilliantly brings the murky interface of science and politics into perfect focus. Scientists and policy makers alike need to read this book, and need to absorb its wisdom.' Michael M. Crow, President, Arizona State University

'Roger Pielke Jr has produced a beautifully clear account of the often murky relationship between scientific advice and the policy process. While his distinction between pure scientist, science arbiter, issue advocate, and honest broker may not fully satisfy purists in Science and Technology Studies (STS), it ought to be compulsory reading for every science graduate and all decision makers in government, business, the judiciary, or campaigning groups who claim that their decisions are rooted in scientific evidence. It is also an invaluable guide to the ordinary citizen who just wants to navigate through the confusion and contradiction that often seems to surround the use of science in policy debates.' Steve Rayner, James Martin Professor of Science and Civilization, University of Oxford

'Decision-making can be an important problem, both in everyday life and when science, politics and policy are involved. The Honest Broker broadens the options of decision-making by going beyond the traditional roles of the 'pure scientist' or the 'issue advocate'. Scientific knowledge can be integrated with stakeholder concerns if the policy context is taken into account in an adequate way. Based on extensive experience in the analysis of decision-making relating to scientific and technological issues, Roger Pielke Jr goes a long way to be an honest broker himself: between science and democracy.' Helga Nowotny, Vice-President of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council and Fellow at Wissenschaftszentrum Wien

'In The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics, Roger Pielke Jr successfully illuminates these challenges to science and scientists … Pielke's framework provides a helpful starting point for investigating factors that complicate the science-society relationship. . . Pielke deftly shows how scientists selections among these options can affect outcomes …the books direct language and concrete examples convey the concepts to a wide audience. By categorizing different roles in the often vexed but necessary relations between scientists and their social world, Pielke clarifies choices not only for scientists but also for the diverse members of democratic society, for whom scientific perspectives are an essential component of better policy.' Science

'This is a clear, thought-provoking book that helps move us away from thinking of science as 'pure' and distinct from policy. It would make an excellent basis for a graduate seminar.' Nature

'The Honest Broker is a must-read for any scientist with even a modest interest in environmental policy or politics, and I recommend it especially to scientists unfamiliar with the continuing controversy over how scientists misuse science in environmental policy and politics … In summary, The Honest Broker is an important book, and it should be read by everyone.' Bioscience

'Scientists and those in the business of science policy should read this book and consider its message carefully, because it has the potential to both bolster the legitimacy of the scientific enterprise and improve policy making. STS and social studies of science scholars are likely to find his argument familiar, but Pielke has developed such an incisive framework that even these audiences will find new and valuable contributions. Furthermore, his book is exemplary in its clear, jargon-free accessibility, which makes it an excellent pedagogical tool for initiating students into issues of science and society.' Adam Briggle, Social Studies of Science

Biographie de l'auteur

Roger A. Pielke, Jr. is Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2006 he was awarded the Eduard Brückner Prize for outstanding interdisciplinary research in climate work.

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Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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42 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Direct Introduction, Without Nuance 4 juillet 2007
Par Personalization Nerd - Publié sur
This book has not been written for the policy analyst, but for those members of the science and technology community who either don't understand why science gets made a part of a political discussion or don't understand why their injection of scientific argument into a political discussion does little to resolve (and sometimes much to inflame) the argument. Pielke makes use of some very effective, if unsubtle, instruments to make his points and, as such, this text may irritate those who see much subtlety and complexity to the development of science and technology policy. However, as a primer for those who think "we just have to get the science right and then the problem will be resolved" (or, more importantly, for those who have found this to be a fallacy, but don't understand why), this is a powerful introduction. Moreover, while many elements of his argument can be found in his published work on climate change, it's nice to see it all brought together in one title.

The book's only real weakness is its effort to employ these notions to discuss elements of some of our present-day controversies. It's really stretching to use these notions to talk about the Bush Administration's rationales for the Iraq War, even though it's understandable why he might want to develop examples from outside the science/technology domain. However, the author's personal politics shine through enough to distract the reader from the argument, IMHO.
26 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well worth reading 24 octobre 2007
Par Russell J Hall - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
The Honest Broker is a factual and insightful exploration of the role of science in policy development. The author has several insights that are worth remembering. As science struggles to become more relevant to decision-making, it is increasingly important for the purveyors of science and the public to become more aware of the opportunities for science to act as a positive force as a source of policy alternatives (in the terminology of the author) or as a blunt instrument wielded as a tool of issue or viewpoint advocates in advancing private agendas. Unfortunately, in the author's view, the traditions of classical science make it vulnerable to manipulation by those promoting narrowly-favored outcomes.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 if you want to be a fair scientist, this is an important book to read 25 mars 2014
Par AngieBug24 - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
if you want to be a fair scientist, this is an important book to read. although sometimes you might have preferences, it is good to remember to be honest and fair when doing and reporting science
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I highly recommend it 6 novembre 2013
Par Melinda Gormley - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Anyone interested in understanding science and technology policy should read this book. I've assigned it to undergraduate college students and use its contents to craft professional development seminars for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
26 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 SLOPPY AND ABSURD ARGUMENTATION 3 août 2010
Par Kåre Fog - Publié sur
The book has nine chapters. Seven of these contain general considerations on the relations between science, politics, and policies. What is of interest to Pielke is not the eventual truth of what a scientist says; his only interest is what policies result from the scientist's argumentation. To Pielke, it is OK for a scientist to be an issue advocate, i.e. to argue for a distinct political agenda - actually he does not reject the possibility that there could be two sets of scientists, viz. republican scientists and democratic scientists, because all science has political connotations (p. 93) . The best is, of course, to be `an honest broker' (as hinted at by the title of the book). The worst, however, is to postulate that you are a neutral scientist, when in fact you are a `stealth issue advocate'. Pielke criticizes the `linear model of science', according to which basic science is the prerequisite for applied science, which in turn is the prerequisite for formulation of policies. This line of thinking encourages the mapping of political interests onto science, i.e. it leads to a politicization of science, he says. But Pielke does not explain very well why this would happen, and he does not give us any useful presentation of any better alternative.

The points are then illustrated in two chapters dealing with concrete cases. One chapter is about what information was available on weapons of mass destruction when president Bush jr. decided to initiate the second Iraq war. This chapter is rather short and superficial and tells nothing that we do not all know. And then, one chapter (20 pages) deals with the criticism of Lomborg's book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. This chapter appears as the cornerstone of the whole argumentation. This is evident from the title of that chapter: "When scientists politicize science", and what he describes in that chapter, is something called `pathological politicization of science' (p. 129). Those who are guilty of this, are all those who criticize Lomborg. These are the persons who serve to illustrate all what Pielke dislikes.

Pielke cites a reader's letter from John Holdren, professor of environmental and resource science, who defends his criticism of Lomborg with the words: "To expose this pastiche of errors and misrepresentations was not a political act but a scientific duty." Pielke uses this statement as a departing point for the following argumentation : Lomborg supports a distinct policy. When Holdren argues against Lomborg, then it shows that Holdren tries to fight against that policy, which means that Holdren is out in a political business. So, although Holdren says that his actions were not politically motivated, but a scientific duty, Pielke refuses to believe him on his word. To Pielke, scientific truth is irrelevant, and when Holdren says that he defends scientific truth, then Holdren is actually doing the opposite, he is carrying out political lobbyism.

Pielke also cites the subtitle of the Scientific Americans theme issue against Lomborg from January 2002, "Science defends itself against The Skeptical Enviromentalist"". His comments to this (p. 129) are that " . . because particular scientific results compel certain actions and not others, there is little reason to distinguish science from politics. Consequently, the following subtitle would thus have been synonymous, "Our political perspective defends itself against the political agenda of The Skeptical Environmentalist" but it would have carried with it far less authority than masking politics in the cloth of science."

Pielke is completely oblivous of the possibility that maybe Lomborg's postulates are not true, and that maybe Lomborg deliberately distorts the evidence in order to seduce and mislead his readers. This, on the other hand, is the understanding that forms the basis of the Lomborg-errors web site, which demonstrates more than 500 concrete errors and flaws in Lomborg's books, of which about 100 are deliberate attempts to mislead people. From that understanding, it is obvious that there must be somebody who correct the errors, and that it is a scientific duty to point them out.

Pielke's interpretation, on the other hand, demands that such a thing as scientific truth does not exist. There may be a `democratic truth' and a `republican truth', but no single truth. If this conception becomes more widely accepted, then it will be the death of science as we know it. The whole idea behind science is to seek `the truth' and to apply a certain code of conduct in this search. If there is no single truth, then there can be no science. So, in his attempts to defend Lomborg, Pielke goes so far that he is willing to kill science and to postulate that science is just a peculiar form of politics.

Altogether, Pielke turns everything upside down. Chronic liars are presented as honest, and those who try to reveal dishonesty, are presented as culprits.

Not only in the Lomborg chapter, but in the whole book, Pielke's argumentation is unprecise, sloppy, and not very convincing. What Pielke performs, is actually `stealth issue advocacy' in the cloth of social science.
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