All of this raises the question in my mind: Should there be a way to prevent “opinion and whim”, or even just bad science, in government policy where the best available science counsels otherwise? If so, what form should it take? To afford the most protection, do we need a “right to science”, established in the U.S. Constitution, like due process, freedom of speech, and the right to peaceably assemble? What would that look like? And how would it work?
In fact, a “human right to science” was established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress was incorporated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1966. (Unfortunately the article is behind a paywall.) The right, which has not received wide attention and has not been fully explicated, does not specifically include the aspiration that all laws and other forms of government regulation be science-based.
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