|The Development of the Role of Science in Environmental Protection Law
|Scientific Uncertainty, Variability, Risk Assessment, Science-based Decisions, Procedural Values
|Science has an important role in enacting, implementing, and enforcing environmental
law. Science can be used to restore the public confidence in the agency
and provide good rational for its decisions. However, environmental issues are interdisciplinary
in character and raise a variety of legal, social, economic, and ethical
questions. These conflicts are not easy to be resolved only by science.
In the 1960s, Rachel Carson had questioned the government’s manipulation of
science to support the toxicological safety of pesticides, which therefore launched
the beginning of the environmental movement in U.S. Even today, the continuing
debate on regulatory reform has not yet reached consensus on how governmental
institutions and procedures should be structured to make decisions better and more
broadly acceptable for environmental protection.
When science has been playing more important and complicated role in decision-making,
what should we do to right the wrongs of the pasts and better environmental
protection for our future? In this paper, I would like to discuss the role science plays in environmental protection and propose suggestions for its future
development. As I believe, this study focusing on U.S. legal perspective will be
definitely helpful for our environmental protection in Taiwan.