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Environmental management, the precautionary principle and null hypotheses: reply

Calver, M.C.ORCID: 0000-0001-9082-2902, Bradley, J.S. and Wright, I.W. (1999) Environmental management, the precautionary principle and null hypotheses: reply. Pacific Conservation Biology, 5 (2). pp. 80-82.


IN a recent paper we suggested means for quantifying the precautionary principle and aiding resolution of disagreement in cases calling for its application. In his commentary on this paper, Goodall (1999) makes four important points:
(i) that it is reasonable to ask proponents of a disturbance to demonstrate that any possible consequence will lie within specified and acceptable limits, (ii) that a null hypothesis is worth disproving only if it is credible,
(iii) that one should beware of asking the wrong question when framing environmental studies, and
(iv) that scientific proof as generally ‘understood does not apply to the precautionary principle. We are in substantial agreement with all these arguments. However, as explained below, we differ in our assessment of their implications.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Surrey Beatty & Sons
Copyright: (c) Surrey Beatty & Sons
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