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New book series examines intersection of science, policy

Cover of book, Politics, in The Rightful Place of Science series
December 03, 2013

This month, the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) launches a new book series, "The Rightful Place of Science." The series aims to present paperback originals on topics that reflect the signature interests of our intellectual communities. These volumes will be brief, clear and to the point, while at the same time tackling urgent topics across a range of complex techno-scientific subjects.

The overall aim is to deliver thought-provoking contributions that explore the complex interactions among science, technology, politics and the human condition.

The first two volumes are now available. The first – on the politics of science – contains essays from the co-directors of CSPO, David Guston and Daniel Sarewitz, as well as by ASU President Michael Crow, CSPO’s founder and chair. The second volume – on the promise and politics of biofuels, by John Alic – highlights CSPO’s growing engagement with sustainability, energy justice and the role of the Department of Defense in promoting energy transformations. Both of these volumes are now available through Amazon, currently in print and forthcoming in Kindle format.

Additional volumes will be published in spring 2014 and on a regular basis thereafter. Planned future topics include: an exploration of the origins of the U.S. weapons labs; a series of case studies on the government role in energy innovation; a selection of creative non-fiction writings on science policy issues; an abridged edition of John Steelman’s 1947 influential study, "Science and Public Policy"; an assessment of media coverage of genetically-modified foods and media coverage in the U.S. and Britain; and more.

These volumes build on existing or “legacy” content possessed by leading scholars in our community. Or they result from the feverish, high-octane energies of emerging scholars with distinctive voices or perspectives.

“An historic shift in serious, intelligent publishing is under way,” says G. Pascal (Gregg) Zachary, CSPO professor of practice and editor of the series. “We’re joining a vanguard movement that’s redefining the terms of both academic publishing and broadly literate publishing for informed readers with an appetite for demanding, yet accessible works.”