The Myth of Scientific Public Policy
Should the methods of science determine the appropriate actions of government? Supporters of scientific public policy argue that these methods permit policymakers to devise good public policy while remaining neutral on troublesome ethical questions. Robert Formaini delivers a sustained critique of this notion in The Myth of Scientific Public Policy.
Formaini’s examination of risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis—the two most popular methods now in existence to “scientifically” evaluate public policy—is as notable for its lucidity as it is for its breadth. He demonstrates that, due to these methods’ inherent limitations, they are unequal to the feats that their advocates claim for them, and shows that their purported moral neutrality is actually negated by concealed, implicit values.