In this blog dedicated to scientific research in the global world, the need for scientists to be part of the full decision making process from beginning to end is repeatedly advocated. Often one refers to decision making on scientific issues, but the involvement of scientists is even more critical when one gets to major societal and political issues.
In the 2010 May issue of Scientific American Jeffrey D. Sachs director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University stresses this point on "Flying Blind in Policy Reforms", from health-care to the Afghanistan war...
He concludes as follows:
"In our governance systems today, the intrinsic complexity of the challenges easily outpaces the gut instincts and amateurism of the existing government machinery. I would not presume or recommend that decisions be left to the purported experts, who often represent special interests or have their own biases or narrow views. Still, a systematic vetting of policy options, with recognized experts and the public commenting and debating, will vastly improve on our current policy performance, in which we often fly blind or hand the controls over to narrow interests and viewpoints."