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The "precautionary principle" - the idea that society should guard against potentially harmful activities even if some cause and effect relationships have not been fully established - has often been attacked for being unscientific. However leading scientists have begun to make the case that the precautionary principle is in fact science based, and that it creates a need for more rigorous and transparent science in examining complex and uncertain environmental risks. Precaution, Environmental Science, and Preventive Public Policy is the first book to explore the role of science in developing a more precautionary approach to environmental and public health policy. The book brings together leading scientists, legal experts, philosophers, environmental health professionals, and environmentalists to offer a multi-disciplinary perspective on the controversial debate over science and precaution. The book: - discusses the critical need for science in promoting sustainability - considers some of the ways in which the current conduct of environmental science works against precautionary policies - provides the components of an approach to environmental science that more effectively supports precautionary decisions The book also offers case studies that consider various types of uncertainty and sets forth a framework for evaluating and addressing uncertainty in decision-making.