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Decision Making at the State and Local Level: Does Science Matter?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 January 2016

Susan G. Mason*
Affiliation:
Boise State University

Abstract

Science is believed to be an important part of public policy decision making because of its inherent characteristics of measurability, rigor, objectivity, replication, and peer review. The purpose of this research was to explore the linkage of science to public policy decision making. The research explores what state and local public officials know about science and how much they actually use science in their decision making. Interview results with public officials in the State of Idaho demonstrate that policy makers ultimately see science as only one element in the mix. Findings suggest that equal attention and debate should be given to how science interacts with all of the other factors that affect the public policy making process.

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Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016 

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