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Island Press

Precaution, Environmental Science, and Preventive Public Policy

Precaution, Environmental Science, and Preventive Public Policy

Book Details
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Published: 2002-12-01
  • Edition: Illustrated
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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 studying the issue 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 sustainabilityoutlines the ethical imperative of a more precautionary science and the philosophical foundations of that new approachconsiders some of the ways in which the current conduct of environmental science works against precautionary policiesexamines how the role and use of science differs across cultures and political systemsprovides the components of an approach to environmental science that more effectively supports precautionary decisionsThe book also offers case studies that consider various types of uncertainty and sets forth a framework for evaluating and addressing uncertainty in decision-making.Contributors include Juan Almendares, Katherine Barrett, Kamaljit Bawa, Finn Bro-Rasmussen, Donald Brown, Theofanis Christoforou, Terry Collins, Barry Commoner, Carl Cranor, Stephen Dovers, David Gee, Elizabeth Guillette, Cato ten Hallers-Tjabbes, James Huff, Matthias Kaiser, Richard Levins, Mary O'Brien, Carolyn Raffensperger, Jerry Ravetz, Vandana Shiva, Boyce Thorne-Miller, Joe Thornton, Reginald Victor, and Alistair Woodward.Precaution, Environmental Science, and Preventive Public Policy presents a broad overview of the role of science in implementing the precautionary principle and makes a compelling case that science should be used not just to study problems but to develop solutions.

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