Sullivan et al 2006 defining best available science for fisheries and environmental

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Sullivan, P. J.; Acheson, James; Angermeier, P. L.; Faast, T.; Flemma, J.; Jones, C. M.; Knudsen, E. E.; Minello, T. J.; Secor, D. H.; Wunderlich, R.; and Zanetell, B. A., "Defining and Implementing Best Available Science for Fisheries and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management" (2006).Marine Sciences Faculty Scholarship. 30.


  • "The American Fisheries Society and the Estuarine Research Federation established a committee to consider what determines the best available science and how it might be used to formulate natural resource policies and procedures."
  • Scientific methods have standard elements: objectives, conceptual model, experimental design, statistic rigor, documentation, peer review.
  • Identifies four common kinds of uncertainty: lack of basic natural history or demographic knowledge, lack of information about relationship between environmental parameters and populations, influence of unpredictable events, high variability in parameter estimates.
  • Scientific evidence must include explicit expression of underlying values.
  • Proposes four levels of evidence: peer reviewed, the grey literature, expert opinion, anecdotal experience (--Pcereghino (talk) 21:12, 31 October 2022 (UTC)how does this position TEK or Indigenous science?)
  • Proposes four strategies to buffer science from political interference while maintaining open debate:
    • Invoke independent review by experts with little vested interest in outcomes of the review or the associated policy;
    • Develop standard procedures and criteria for decision making, before reaching decision points;
    • Revise bureaucracies to broadly integrate information but keep separate the scientific and policymaking functions; and
    • Promote scientific literacy among policymakers and the public, where literacy means not only being familiar with facts and technologies

but also being able to think critically to reach an informed opinion on public issues.

  • Proposes that scientists must be involved in evaluating information quality, clarifying areas of scientific debate, communicating with non-scientists,