Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology
POST Notes


POST Note 196:

Scientists have accused Government of "using science selectively or to:

• justify predetermined decisions or positions

• erroneously frame issues as predominantly scientific (e.g. in substituting for moral or value judgements)

• act as a scapegoat when things go wrong

• offer undue certainty and reassurance while critical uncertainties are downplayed

• delay making contentious or complex decisions".


POST Note 220:

Use of the Precautionary Principle should ensure:

"• ongoing risk research and monitoring

• transparent consideration of multiple options, including the risks of action and inaction

• genuine engagement with minority and lay concerns

• a shift in the burden of proof for safety to proponents of new technologies, while acknowledging the impossibility of proving zero risk".