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Climate Research

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CR 19:69-90 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/cr019069

Some patterns of interaction between science and policy: Germany and climate change

Dennis Bray1,*, Carsten Krück2

1GKSS Forschungszentrum, Max-Planck Strasse, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
2VDI-Technologiezentrum, Abteilung Zünftige Technologein, 40002 Düsseldorf, Germany
1While many science-technology studies might suggest the following is a naive conception of the process of the transfer of knowledge, we can only represent what is evident in the data and lay no claim to knowledge of the motives and psychology of individual scientists, newspaper editors, policy makers, etc. Neither do we intend to reify science, believing instead that any conspiracy theory is somewhat devoid of reality and any consequences of science are the result of the action of individuals, not necessarily the unified effort of a collective body

ABSTRACT: The issue of climate change from the perspectives of climate change scientists and climate policy makers is discussed using results from 2 survey questionnaires. Emphasis is given to the German context. Included is the self assessment of the state of the art of the climate sciences and the importance assigned to different sources of information by policy makers. Conclusions indicate that policy makers rely on a number of sources other than the direct results of science, and have assigned a greater sense of urgency to the issue of climate change than have scientists; therefore it might be that some aspects of climate science are being driven by the normative judgements of a political perspective.

KEY WORDS: Climate change · Climate change policy · Scientific consensus · Science-to-policy relationships · Normative driven science

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