Since 1997, there has been a flowering in bodies such as the Health Protection Agency, the Food Standards Agency and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that turn science into policy. At the same time we have seen more and more ad hoc expert groups pop into existence, tell the government what to think about public issues such as mobile phone risks or radioactive waste disposal, and fade into the background. All feed the growing need for evidence-based policy. But expertise has always been about more than evidence. Expertise is also about judgement, about wisdom, about asking new questions and challenging convention.] â€¦[The physicist Werner Heisenberg defined an expert as â€˜someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in their subject and who manages to avoid themâ€¦
The pamphlet provides a further contribution helping government and its stakeholders to challenge existing ways of practice with a view to ensuring the best possible policies for delivering environmental protection.