When the Science isn't Enough...

By: hcubed , 2:12 AM GMT on February 18, 2012

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Somebody remind me again just what the Scientific Method was all about again...

"...From: AAAS Office of Public Programs
To: [undisclosed recipients]
Sent: Fri, February 17, 2012 5:02:17 AM
Subject: Join Live Webcast from AAAS 2012 – Saturday, 18 February at 5 pm PST

View on mobile or on web page

Why do so many political leaders and citizens remain unconcerned about climate change, water scarcity, fisheries depletion, and a host of other science-related global challenges? Find out by joining us for a Webcast of the plenary panel Science Is Not Enough, featuring three of the world’s most knowledgeable and compelling science communicators during the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting.

This exceptional Webcast—set for 5:00—6:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, February 18—will arm scientists, educators, students, and citizens around the world with messages to help influence public perceptions and debate when the science supporting a position is not enough to carry the argument..."

Press release here:

Link

As a recap, let's remind the AAAS (The American Association for the Advancement of Science) what scientists are SUPPOSED to do:

"...Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.

To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.

The Oxford English Dictionary says that scientific method is: "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

The chief characteristic which distinguishes a scientific method of inquiry from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, and contradict their theories about it when those theories are incorrect, i. e., falsifiability. Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methods of obtaining knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses via predictions which can be derived from them. These steps must be repeatable, to guard against mistake or confusion in any particular experimenter. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many independently derived hypotheses together in a coherent, supportive structure. Theories, in turn, may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.

Scientific inquiry is generally intended to be as OBJECTIVE as possible, to reduce biased interpretations of results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, giving them the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established..."

So, according to The American Association for the Advancement of Science's latest push, they just have to find a way to get "the world’s most knowledgeable and compelling science communicators" to "help influence public perceptions and debate when the science supporting a position is not enough to carry the argument".

So exactly who are they listing as the "world’s most knowledgeable and compelling science communicators"?

"...The panelists include James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct professor of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University..."

Wonder how much he'll be paid for THIS gig - he's already a millionaire from his previous speaking engagements.

"...Olivia Judson, who explores the intersection of science and society, focusing on such controversial issues as the actuarial use of DNA and the potential to grow human organs. Dr. Judson has presented science issues on television many times, most recently when she appeared in an episode of PBS’s “Nova” about DNA connections to evolution. She has written a weekly blog on evolutionary biology for the New York Times website, called “The Wild Side.” She is currently a Research Fellow at Imperial College in London.

Hans Rosling, professor of international health at the Karolinska Institute and co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation..."

His claim to fame?

He's the "...co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed the Trendalyzer software for converting international statistics into moving, interactive, and enjoyable graphics. Dr. Rosling promotes a fact-based world view through increased use and understanding of freely accessible public statistics. He presented the television documentary “The Joy of Stats,” which was broadcast in the United Kingdom in 2010. He is currently Professor of International Health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden..."

"...The panel will be moderated by Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington bureau chief and director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University..."

So they're exploring ways to package the data, because, as they admitted, sometimes the science supporting a position is not enough to carry the argument.

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2. shoreacres
3:22 AM GMT on February 18, 2012
"...help influence public perceptions and debate when the science supporting a position is not enough to carry the argument"...

My, my...
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
1. Ossqss
2:28 AM GMT on February 18, 2012
"So they're exploring ways to package the data, because, as they admitted, sometimes the science supporting a position is not enough to carry the argument. "

They have been doing it for years, Mann!

Keep up the good work cubed.

It can be blinding to many as they listen to the poetry of propaganda to attempt to reinforce a flawed scientific position.

Just look at the main blog today :)

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185

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About hcubed

Living in Biloxi MS, have been here since '85 (first Hurricane was Elena).