Scientific information is important in many policy debates in the Pacific Northwest (salmon; wildfire severity; human activities and climate; genetically modified organisms; water scarcity). Science is essential in such policy debates, but I am concerned that policy-biased science is increasingly common.
Science should be objective and based on the best information available. Too often, however, scientific information presented to the public and decision-makers is infused with hidden policy preferences. Such science is termed normative, and it is a corruption of the practice of good science. Normative science is defined as “information that is developed, presented or interpreted based on an assumed, usually unstated, preference for a particular policy choice.”
I won't continue here - you can go to the article, which also allows comments.
One of the comments was by friend and colleague Todd Jarvis who alluded to an article he wrote that was recently published in the Oregon Geologist Examiner.
Last May I posted a PDF of Bob's lecture on Is Science Biased Toward Natural?
"Science is not value free, but it should be policy neutral." - Robert T. Lackey