Weighing science and politics in local decision making about hazards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


As a step towards understanding how local environemntal hazards policy is made, this article explores how Canadian local elected officials gained and assimilated scientific and technical information about the environmental hazards facing their communities. Consistent with previous work in the hazards field, three of Weiss's (1979) meanings of research utilization were found to be directly applicable. The elected officials expressed the view that reconciling conflicting expert opinion and competing concerns was more difficult and more rightly their responsibility than gathering information. This research demonstrates the utility of focus groups for interviewing elite populations making community scale decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalKnowledge and Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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