restricted access Implicit Normativity in Scientific Advice: values in nutrition scientists' decisions to give public advice

This paper focuses on implicit normative considerations underlying scientific advice—those normative questions, decisions, or issues that scientific advisers and the general public are not fully aware of but that nevertheless have implications for the character of the advice given. Using nutritional science as an example, we identify three such implicit normative issues. The first concerns the aim of scientific advice: whether it is about avoiding harm or promoting good. The second concerns the intended beneficiaries of the advice: whether advice should be framed to benefit the society as a whole or with special concern for the most vulnerable members of the population. The third consideration involves scientific advisers' attempts to balance the strengths of the scientific evidence with the expected consequences of scientific advice. We hope to promote more explicit discussion of these issues among scientific advisers and a wider public.