Science plays a crucial role in a great deal of personal and societal decision making, including the development of public policy and regulations, the formulation of legal decisions, and the preservation of public and environmental health. Nevertheless, recent scholarship has shown that the incorporation of science into public decision making is fraught with a great deal of complexity. This essay introduces the second of two special sections of Public Affairs Quarterly, which together comprise six articles that explore cutting-edge questions about how science can be used responsibly to inform societal decisions. The articles in this second section explore how to develop regulatory and legal institutions that treat science with appropriate respect without granting inappropriate decision-making power to the scientific community.

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