危险的建议

发自布莱顿——为何我们遭遇的突发性科技灾难似乎正不断增多?但事实上,无论是今年的福岛核危机还是去年的英国石油公司墨西哥湾漏油事件都与臭氧层变薄这样的老问题差别不大。而在我们看来,真正的核心问题其实是科学顾问建议的整套制定和传递模式。

科学正日益被用于佐证相关公共政策决策,尤其是在那些涉及到类似基因改造,新型化合物以及能源基础设施这类复杂新技术的领域。由于种种与危害,利益和潜在副作用有关的不确定性,做出选择并实施这些选项的决策将变得相当困难。质疑的声音不但围绕着出现风险的可能性,还扩展到了对政策产物本身及其后果的讨论。其中还会牵涉到庞大的经济利益,使压力变得更为巨大。

而经常出现的情况是,专家意见对政策制定者最有用的时刻就是其作为某个单一“权威性”解释被发布之时。因此专家一般都会刻意隐瞒那些不确定性。而当他们认识到某种程度的不确定性的时候,专家们还倾向于删减未知因素以便计算“风险”。

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