Impediments to basing government health policies on science in the United States

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Abstract

In the U.S., there is no consistent relationship between what health scientists find and public policy. Some scientific finding are heralded and quickly incorporated into individual and political action. Other findings are ignored, and others are contradicted by policy. This paper explains this inconsistency in terms of individual reaction to hazards, media coverage of hazards, and different ability of individuals to respond to health information; political leaders' preference for high-technology science, distortion and opposition by commercial interests, bureaucratic maneuvering for power and resources; and uncertainty and asymmetry of some scientific findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-540
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Keywords

  • impediments
  • policy
  • public health
  • science

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