La politique publique est-elle devenue trop publique ?

En 1897, la Chambre des représentants de l'Etat américain de l'Indiana a, à l'unanimité, promulgué une loi redéfinissant le calcul de la valeur de pi , le rapport entre la circonférence d'un cercle et son diamètre. Heureusement, le projet de loi n'a pas remporté l'approbation du sénat de l'Etat.

Cette anecdote historique pourrait tirer un petit rire sardonique de la part de ceux qui se rappellent les mathématiques qu'ils ont appris au lycée, mais les experts du monde entier sont de plus en plus invités à formuler une politique publique qui nécessite la compréhension d'un phénomène scientifique et technologique à la fois subtil et complexe.

« Comment savoir si une baleine est un mammifère ou un poisson ? » demande un professeur à sa classe de CE2. « Et si on votait ? » a gazouillé un enfant. Cette suggestion peut sembler amusante venant d'un enfant, mais son côté amusant disparaît lorsque les gouvernements l'appliquent, comme ils ont de plus en plus tendance à le faire, à des politiques complexes impliquant la science et la technologie.

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