Public perceptions of federal science advisory boards depend on their composition

Caitlin Drummond, Sara Goto Gray, Kaitlin T. Raimi, Robyn Wilson, Joseph Árvai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) provides expert advice to inform agency decision-making. Recent regulations have decreased the representation of academic scientists on the EPA SAB and increased the representation of industry scientists. In an experiment, we asked how the US public views the goals and legitimacy of the board as a function of its composition. Respondents perceived SABs with a majority of industry scientists to be more likely to promote business interests than SABs with a majority of academic scientists. Liberals were less likely than conservatives to perceive industry-majority SABs as promoting human health and the environment, and making unbiased and evidence-based decisions. Our findings underscore the potential for politicization of scientific advice to the government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22668-22670
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume117
Issue number37
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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