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Usable information for policy: An appraisal of the U.S. Global Change Research Program

Abstract

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was established in law in 1990 (P.L. 101–606) with a mandate to provide policymakers with ‘usable information.’ The law gave a White House Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES) responsibility to implement the program with respect to its policy mandate. In 1994 CEES was replaced, in part, because it failed to provide ‘usable information.’ This article, documenting the development of the program's policy mandate and CEES implementation of the USGCRP, finds a performance shortfall. The shortfall is attributed to a breakdown in the legislative process, participant perspectives, and the structure of post-World War II science policy. The purpose of the article is to explain the CEES performance shortfall in hope that its successor can improve USGCRP performance with respect to its legal mandate based upon the lessons of experience.

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Pielke, R.A. Usable information for policy: An appraisal of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Policy Sci 28, 39–77 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01000820

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Keywords

  • Research Program
  • Economic Policy
  • Global Change
  • Science Policy
  • Usable Information