The NUSAP Pedigree for Statistical Information
Our first exercises in developing NUSAP were in connection with information used for research. Typically this involves a small set of data-items, usually the results of experiments but sometimes (as in policy-related research) based on personal judgements and estimates. This information would be created in the course of the investigation of some particular problem, and would take its shape from that context. We now apply the NUSAP system to another kind of technical information. This is “statistical”, in the sense of having to do with statecraft (Funtowicz and Ravetz, 1989). In modern times the power of quantitative statistical information was first demonstrated by William Petty’s Political Arithmetic in the seventeenth century. Since then, census-taking has become a responsibility of all governments, and has become an ever more elaborate and sophisticated exercise. In the case of the United States of America, it is related to the constitutional duty of the President to give an annual report to the people on “The State of the Nation”.
KeywordsStatistical Information Institutional Culture Safe Drinking Water Personal Judgement Policy Indicator
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