Science Policy through the Lens of U.S. Domestic Climate Change Litigation
21 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2010
Date Written: April 21, 2010
The direction and scope of scientific research is shaped by a number of factors, from government grant support to university undertakings to industry-supported interests to litigation-initiated scientific research. Climate change science is one important example of this dynamic development of scientific research. Although initial climate change research has been shaped predominately by government funding of research grants as well as academic and industry research and development, the advent of significant numbers of climate change-related lawsuits have added to the amount of scientific information generated regarding the effects of, and responses to, climate change.
This article highlights the impact that recent climate change cases, both international and domestic, have had on overall climate change research policy in the United States. It first provides some brief background on the theories underlying science policy development, as well as current government grant-funded initiatives to direct climate change research. This article then discusses the phenomenon of litigation-initiated climate-change science policy, exploring in a qualitative manner how a number of climate-change related cases may have influence the direction of scientific research beyond that generated earlier through grant-funded research. Finally, this article begins to develop ways to eventually evaluate more fully the impact of climate change litigation on scientific research development.
Keywords: science policy, climate change, climate change litigation, litigation
JEL Classification: K32, H K32, Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation