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Discerning Experts assesses the assessments that many governments rely on to help guide environmental policy and action. Through their close look at environmental assessments involving acid rain, ozone depletion, and sea level rise, the authors explore how experts deliberate and decide on the scientific facts about problems like climate change. They also seek to understand how the scientists involved make the judgments they do, how the organization and management of assessment activities affects those judgments, and how expertise is identified and constructed.
Discerning Experts uncovers factors that can generate systematic bias and error, and recommends how the process can be improved. As the first study of the internal workings of large environmental assessments, this book reveals their strengths and weaknesses, and explains what assessments can—and cannot—be expected to contribute to public policy and the common good.