What Kind of Accountability Does the Public Expect From Science?

Climate change is an endlessly useful example for examining issues of public science, and it was Jasanoff’s preferred case study in her talk that I discussed in my previous post. As I noted there, the notion of a constitution is an important aspect of Jasanoff’s views on public science, according to which the rights and responsibilities of expert institutions – in particular their accountability to the publics they serve – are clearly outlined. One of the broad problems Jasanoff identified in the public aspect of climate change is that scientific institutions, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (arguably the most important of all institutions regarding climate change – the largest in any case), do not have explicit standards of accountability. Continue reading “What Kind of Accountability Does the Public Expect From Science?”

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Why Don’t Climate Sceptics Actually Fund Research?

I have had many people tell me that I should read more George Monbiot, because I would really like him. Apparently we have similar ideas. Regretfully, I’ve never actually read anything he’s written until I was sent this piece. And I do like it. (A little too punchy and not enough parenthetical asides for my taste, but still good.)

In it Monbiot reflects on the staggering amount of money that’s been poured into (mis)information campaigns aimed at fostering scepticism among politicians and the general public about human-caused climate change. What’s more unsettling, argues Monbiot, is where the money is coming from and how it is being transferred. Continue reading “Why Don’t Climate Sceptics Actually Fund Research?”