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Consensus Study Report


Where should the United States focus its long-term efforts to improve the nation's environment? What are the nation's most important environmental issues? What role should science and technology play in addressing these issues? Linking Science and Technology to Society's Environmental Goals provides the current thinking and answers to these questions.

Based on input from a range of experts and interested individuals, including representatives of industry, government, academia, environmental organizations, and Native American communities, this book urges policymakers to:

  • Use social science and risk assessment to guide decision-making.
  • Monitor environmental changes in a more thorough, consistent, and coordinated manner.
  • Reduce the adverse impact of chemicals on the environment.
  • Move away from the use of fossil fuels.
  • Adopt an environmental approach to engineering that reduces the use of natural resources.
  • Substantially increase our understanding of the relationship between population and consumption.

This book will be of special interest to policymakers in government and industry; environmental scientists, engineers, and advocates; and faculty, students, and researchers.

Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 1996. Linking Science and Technology to Society's Environmental Goals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

544 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Hardcover:  978-0-309-05578-9
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-17521-0
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xii
Part I: Committee Report 1-2
Summary 3-14
Society's Environmental Goals 15-26
Use Social Science and Risk Assessment to Make Better Societal Choices 27-36
Focus on Monitoring to Build Better Understanding of Our Ecological Systems 37-50
Reduce the Adverse Impacts of Chemicals in the Environment 51-60
Develop Environmental Options for the Energy System 61-72
Use a Systems Engineering and Ecological Approach to Reduce Resource Use 73-80
Improve Understanding of the Relationship Between Population and Consumption as a Means to Reducing the Environmental Impacts of Population Growth 81-86
Set Environmental Goals Via Rates and Directions of Change 87-90
Bibliography 91-94
Part II: Commissioned Papers 95-96
National Environmental Goals: Implementing the Laws, Visions of the Future, and Research 97-134
Measurement of Environmental Quality in the United States 135-178
Attitudes Toward the Environment Twenty-Five Years After Earth Day 179-190
Environmental Goals and Science Policy: A Review of Selected Countries 191-242
Can States Make a Market for Environmental Goals? 243-280
Setting Environmental Goals: The View from Industry. A Review of Practices from the 1960s 281-326
Status of Ecological Knowledge Related to Policy Decision-Making Needs in the Area of 327-344
The Federal Budget and Environmental Priorities 345-398
Part III: Keynote Addresses and Presentations 399-400
D. James Baker, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 401-406
Thomas Grumbly, U.S. Department of Energy 407-412
Barry Gold, U.S. Department of the Interior 413-418
Harlan Watson, House Committee on Science 419-422
David Garman, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 423-430
John Wise and Peter Truitt, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 431-436
Judith Espinosa and Peggy Duxbury, President's Council on 437-448
Gilbert S. Omenn, University of Washington 449-462
Part IV: Appendixes 463-464
A Committee Member and Staff Biographical Information 465-470
B Forum Agenda 471-474
C Forum Participants 475-482
D Summary of Responses to Call for Comments 483-488
E Respondents to Call for Comments 489-496
F Summary of Breakout-Group Discussions 497-500
G Detecting Changes in Time and Space 501-504
H Contents and Executive Summary of a Report of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government 505-516
Index 517-530

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