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Precaution in public: the social perception of the role of science and values in policy making

[journal article]

Luján, José Luis; Todt, Oliver

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Abstract This article presents the results of a study of public perception recently completed in Spain which questioned citizens about their views on the precautionary principle, the role of science in policy making, as well as their level of trust in science. The results show that Spanish citizens, by a significant margin, consider that scientists may be influenced by economic interests, that values play a key role in policy making, and that policy should be guided by precaution. Two groups were identified, one with a moderate and the other one with a more stringent interpretation of precaution. The results indicate that public policies that do not sufficiently take into account precaution and exclude values from decision making are likely to encounter resistance among many citizens.
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 97-109
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 16 (2007) 1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)