By Monte Cook
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Additional resources for A Guide to the Astral Plane (AD&D Fantasy Roleplaying, Planescape)
At the level of practice, recourse to the traditional notion of scientiﬁc objectivity as a powerful epistemological basis for resolving political debate remains in high currency. Perhaps, as a function of these two currents, recent scholarship is divided about the trajectory of science in policy making, with some researchers decrying the decline of science while others cite its pervasiveness. Trends in the Recourse to Science in Decision Making Yaron Ezrahi (1990) makes a strong case that scientiﬁc norms are in decline and argues that, because of this decline, ideology will supersede rationality as the basis for legitimate state action.
But I do not follow a single set of scientists throughout the policy process for each issue. In fact, it is rare to ﬁnd a scientist who participates in all three stages of policy making. If one were to study the few cases in which this happens, one would be deﬁning the preponderance of interactions between scientists and policy makers as beyond the scope of study. Instead, I take as the unit of analysis the interactions between scientists and policy makers at a particular stage. This approach makes use of any selection bias that might be at work.
At the same time, the recourse to science advisors has not abated. There is a notable consistency between the perspectives offered by Stone and Jasanoff, in spite of the differences in their approach to the subject matter. Neither of their treatments requires a priori agreement about how to draw the science/policy boundary, nor, in view the stakes involved in demarcating this valuable political terrain, should such agreements be expected. Thomas Gieryn, who has made substantial contributions to the literature on boundary work, predicts repeated efforts to demarcate science from non-science, not only in policy domains, but in any domain where science is held out as a distinct form of knowledge (1983, 1995, 1999).
A Guide to the Astral Plane (AD&D Fantasy Roleplaying, Planescape) by Monte Cook