Monday, July 4, 2011

On why science is received, perceived and treated so poorly in the public forum(s).


After years of posting on opinion sites and witnessing the failure of the scientific community in relaying the importance of climate change and a general respect for science I think this is the most logical diagnosis and conclusion:

The base foundation of public forums concerned with public policy and governance involving scientific issues should be reasonable and logical assessment. Thats obviously a simple statement but as is they are based in political platforms and ¨open civil forum¨ truisms that are of little benefit and just make situations worse by projecting the concept that any opinion confers validity by its popularity. It seems many successful forums, do not understand the importance of stating they basic principles that have made them so but imply it in general conversational terms.

I think its more important to be clear:

All forums wishing to advance knowledge and influence good community decision making should be reasonable and referenced civil libertarian forums. That is a forum where anyone can contribute as long as it is a reasonable/logical and referenced effort. A open knowledge built on knowledge approach.
 
These are simple concepts to enforce and the benefits are obvious.

Reasonable and referenced discussion in a civil libertarian forums, really cannot become uncivil as it is self limiting by the rules of logical discourse. Ad hominem, after all is in most arguments a logical fallacy that confers argumentative failure to the statement that contains it. As such in a reasonable forum it would be deleted just as any incorrect/unreferenced statement would. And that failure would be the end of it.

When scientists and forum owners are willing to put the time in laying a foundation recognizing only reasonable discussion and take the time to see that reasonable discussion only occurs in forums they participate in, and perhaps making sure it doesn't in ones that don't, then progress will be made.

That last part may sound odd but by not making it clear that a forum is not based in reason, and shyly participating in it you are inherently agreeing with whatever the rules of that forum confer to "truth." Usually popularity, based in popular conspiracy politics, and smears. 

Until scientists, academics, and reasonable people lay down the groundwork for reasonable scientific forums, considering what they do now, by focusing more on "civility", politics, the absolute "free speech" canard, perspectives on morality, etc and hiding; they actually advance the opposite.

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Unfortunately with recent developments in social media and content delivery we in some ways have probably moved even further away from the ideal.

Scientists and academic institutions in the passive sense certainly don't seem to make their work or research tools easily available, or even make a serious attempt, in most cases to provide the tools or expertise for the assessment of research presented.

Climate progress has a blurb in this post - on the “the laws of Nature” phrase in the Declaration of Independence. The founders were certainly addressing civil justice but most importantly by the known sentiment of the time its clear they were addressing the logic, reason, order and continuity by the universe operates on within a ultimate respect for civil liberties. It is important to note that while they were even attributing these laws to the divine they were bounding the divine as ultimately reasonable.

When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

 
Additional :

Naturalism (philosophy)

[ill be updating this over time.]

3 comments:

  1. You really need to read this book JT. I thought it was so important I bought it!

    http://www.amazon.com/Unscientific-America-Scientific-Illiteracy-Threatens/dp/B002UXRZDU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309817132&sr=1-1

    Also, the Census Bureau revised upwards its estimate of current world population by 19 million.

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  2. lol I thought it was going to be grammar and spelling for beginners!!!

    I corrected that last blog about 20 times!

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  3. ill keep an eye out for it. and the author.

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