Lesson From 50 years of Science Advice to the US President

Speaker: Prof Roger Pielke # University of Colorado

19th Apr 2012

15:30 - 17:00

Seminar Rm 1.06, Old Surgeons' Hall, HSY


More than ever, decision making in governments around the world depends upon expert advice. In areas such as energy policy, agricultural production, climate change and even economics, health and the military, policy makers depend upon experts to inform policy making. At the same time, many of these same issues are debated among the public and in the media, often passionately and politically. How might modern governments best utilize expert advice in policy making while at the same time respecting the authority of democratic processes? This talk will draw on more than 50 years of experience of science advice to the US president to illustrate the challenges and opportunities for the effective use of experts in democratic decision making. Policy makers and experts each face important choices in how they relate to one another, with effective policy and politics the ultimate stakes.


Roger A. Pielke, Jr. joined the faculty of the University of Colorado in 2001. He is currently Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES). At CIRES Roger serves as the Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. He also served as the Director of Graduate Studies for the University's Graduate Program in Environmental Studies from 2002-2004. Roger's current areas of interest include understanding the relations of science and politics, technology policy in the atmospheric and related sciences, use and value of prediction in decision making, and policy education for scientists. In 2000, Roger received the Sigma Xi Distinguished Lectureship Award and in 2001, he received the Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award by students in the University of Colorado's Department of Political Science. Before joining the University of Colorado, from 1993-2001 Roger was a Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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