February 24, 2015
Full video available at CITP's YouTube Channel.
The increasing use of empirical evidence in policy making is raising questions about rules that govern the use of such information. At the same time, empirical studies are influencing legislative analysis and history in ways that we are only beginning to ascertain. In this article, we seek to establish and address the baseline questions that arise in and about a modern legislative body assessing scientific evidence.
The issues surrounding scientific evidence in the policymaking arena are broad. For example, do studies used in the determination of laws and regulations need to be disclosed? Should they have minimum standards they need to meet, for example in scientific integrity or transparency? Evidence-based rule-making brings these issues sharply to the fore. We will discuss the current legal requirements (or lack thereof) when using empirical findings in policy making, using recent cases as examples, and propose some legislative guideposts.