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Lackey, Robert T., and R. L. Blair. 1997. Science, policy, and acid rain. Renewable Resources Journal 15(1):9-13.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s there was an ongoing scientific and policy debate about the effect of sulfur deposition (popularly referred to as "acid rain") on ecological resources in the United States. The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP), an interagency organization created by a 1980 act of Congress, was a response to the debate. It is from the perspective of scientists working in an assessment program that the following "lessons learned" are developed: (1) Get the policy questions clear; (2) Focus science on science questions; (3) Feed the client regularly; (4) Conduct an assessment at the end -- and at the beginning; (5) Learn to live with 80%; (6) Recognize that research enterprises are more easily corrupted than individual scientists; ( 7) Keep the "is" and the "ought" separate; (8) Avoid hubris before the mahogany table; (9) Remember that the distribution of benefits and costs is crucial; (10) Appreciate that research budgets follow fear; (11) Put those resources on the table; and (12) Help policy analysts and decision makers outgrow their science-envy. Participating in NAPAP was sometimes painful for many scientists, but it was also rewarding. Policy advocates from all sides attempted to use the program to support their own policy marketing efforts, or to disparage those of their opponents. Some very good science was accomplished with support from NAPAP, although it was a byproduct rather than a primary purpose of the program.

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