Folder Guidance questions for authors Zip download


This guidance provided authors with a number of questions that we asked them to address in selecting, analysing and structuring the information used in their case studies. The goal was to establish an analytical framework that will help ensure a consistent approach to the large variety of topics under consideration. 


The Late Lessons Structuring Questions

1. When did the first scientifically based early warning of hazards occur? What was the nature of the knowledge used to generate the early and subsequent warnings (e.g. data, information and assumptions used in scientific observations, hypotheses, hazard scenarios, model projections, lay or local knowledge). How did this knowledge evolve over time?


2. Was this knowledge used strategically, and if so, by who? I.e. was it published, publicized or suppressed in order to legitimate certain points of views or discredit others? Was it disseminated to a wider audience to serve as a resource for a public debate?


3.  What were the main actions, or inactions, of governments and other actors to reduce the hazards (e.g. more research; labelling; exposure reductions etc.? 


4. What were the main arguments (and supporting evidence) used by scientists and policymakers to accept or reject the early (and later) warnings and to justify actions or inactions?


5. What did the pros and cons of the responses turn out to be? (The terms 'pros' and 'cons' are used to identify the broad range of both monetary and non-monetary costs and benefits, including their severity, reversibility and distribution across groups and generations).   


6. In what ways did pressures by state or corporate interests, or from stakeholder political actions, influence the evolution of the case study?


7. What are the main lessons that can be learned from the case study about the quality and use of the knowledge and argumentation involved in dealing with hazards? (In particular, what improvements could be made to the planning and performance of policy relevant science, and to the ways in which the results are interpreted and used in the decision making process?)


Authors were asked to evaluate the developments in their case study in light of 'the spirit of the times', i.e. taking into account the stock of knowledge available at the time when decisions were, or could have been taken, rather than using the luxury of hindsight, i.e. judging the past on the basis of today’s knowledge.

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