Scientists, Researchers, and Acid Rain

Leslie R. Alm



John Kingdon's recent assessment of "agenda setting" has brought a richer analysis to the entire process of establishing public policy. In particular, Kingdon introduces what he calls the hidden participants. These hidden participants (academic specialists, career bureaucrats, researchers, consultants, and analysts) use their special expertise to fashion ideas that directly influence the agenda-setting process. This article extends Kingdon's analysis to the environmental field by attempting to demonstrate the role that researchers and scientists have played in transforming acid rain from an unknown issue to one that is on the formal governmental agenda. Special attention is given to how successful researchers and scientists have been in generating viable solutions to the acid rain problem.

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