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Our "Social Learning" study had suggested that while a few formal scientific assessments did influence international negotiations, most did not. Contextual factors such as issue complexity and stage of the policy debate were clearly important determinants. But so were differences in how the assessments were conducted. We therefore focused in the "Global Environmental Assessment Project" on understanding the factors internal to the design and conduct of environmental assessments that differentiated more from less effective ones. We developed a common research protocol and applied it to more than 25 case studies ranging from climate change and biodiversity protection to chemicals regulation. Bill Clark joined Ron Mitchell (Oregon), Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard) and Jill Jaeger (Austria) in leading the study.