Technocracy, Democracy and the Role of Scientists in Natural Resource Policy Public Deposited



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  • The complexity of modern environmental problems has increased appeals for including scientific research and findings in natural resource policy decision making. Though scientists, resource managers, interest groups, and the general public support more science-based environmental policy, these preferences have been accompanied by growing calls for decentralization and democratization of policy decisions, where citizens and stakeholders would have an increased role in deciding official management strategies. This essay compares results from a recent study that targeted marine ecology scientists and other professionals with those from two previous studies that examined terrestrial ecology scientists, natural resource managers, interest groups, and the public concerning the role of science and scientists in natural resource policy processes. I find that though the two groups share similar beliefs regarding humans and the environment, significant differences exist between marine ecology scientists and the terrestrial ecology scientists from previous studies in terms of their beliefs about positivism, their favored role for scientists in public policy, and their perceived value of citizen participation in government processes.
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