Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry rips ‘march for science’ as ‘a self-serving navel gazing exercise for scientists’ — A ‘we don’t like Trump’ tantrum


By: - Climate DepotMarch 6, 2017 3:33 PM

The smartest people on the planet want to oppose Trump & the best they can come up with is a march in support of themselves? – Roger Pielke Jr

A mega March for Science has been planned for Earth Day (April 22) in Washington DC. The web site states:

The March for Science demonstrates our passion for science and sounds a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists.

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So far, the March for Science seems to be shaping up as a self-serving navel gazing exercise for scientists — sort of a ‘we don’t like Trump’ tantrum.  The impression that this will have on policy makers and the public will be to cement scientists as a politicized special interest group, just like any other lobbying group.  In short, I very much fear that this March will do more harm than good.

It’s not too late to turn this around.  We need to rethink the contract between scientists and government, and develop a new model for the the 21st century.  Here are some recommendations:

  • Embrace science as a process, not a collection of ‘facts’; invite the public to engage in the process of science.
  • The institutions of science need to reform themselves, and scientists need to get out of the ivory tower and engage with the real world [link]
  • Universities need a new business model and incentive structure for faculty members  that doesn’t rely on massive federal research grants but rewards faculty for educating students at all levels and serving the needs of society
  • Scientists need a much better understanding of the policy process, the role that science plays, and how complexity, pluralism and uncertainty in science is accommodated in the policy process. Evidence-based policy making is a good political slogan, but not a good description of the policy process [link]
  • Scientists need to stop using science to support desired political outcomes.
  • Scientists need to do more than push back against flawed arguments and bad policy. We need to engage the public, and, even more, invite the public, across the political spectrum, to engage with science. [link]