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.
The Honest Broker 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 Honest Broker 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.
List of figures
List of tables
1. Four idealized roles of science in policy and politics
2. The big picture, science and democracy
3. Science and decision making
6. How Science policy shapes science in policy and politics
7. Preemption and the decision to go to war in Iraq
8. When scientists politicize science
9. Making sense of science in policy and politics
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 Bruckner Prize for outstanding interdisciplinary research in climate work.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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