Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Science and policy

Tamsin Edwards has a small piece in the Guardian today advocating that climate scientists should not advocate for climate policy.
I believe advocacy by climate scientists has damaged trust in the science. We risk our credibility, our reputation for objectivity, if we are not absolutely neutral.

While I agree that science is best done if scientists can appear to be objective, I think that it's also worth admitting that this is an appearance. All researchers have biases, regardless of whether we are advocating for policy or not. Also I did a serious eyeroll when I read:

I find much climate scepticism is driven by a belief that environmental activism has influenced how scientists gather and interpret evidence.


This might be true, but "environmental activism" is one of several dog whistles that climate "skeptics" (I'm unsure if the author means actual skeptics [who I try to label consistently as scientific contrarians, since they're disagreeing with a consensus] or loonies. The word skeptic has been so misused I have no idea what it means unless it's defined by the author) use to refer to their actual claim about climate scientists: that they're in cahoots with international socialists. Here's a tip: if you're talking to a person about how humans have a responsibility to clean up pollution we caused, and the other person (who claims that humans don't have such a responsibility) mentions Greenpeace or Al Gore, they're really saying "the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids".

What say you? Would you rather a doctor who works with lung cancer patients never ever publicly say that smoking is hazardous because that makes that doctor less neutral? Would you rather an engineer working on buildings in earthquake zones never ever publicly say that safe buildings save lives because that makes them a less neutral engineer? Do zoos lose their neutrality if they mention that some of the animals on zoo grounds are endangered or extinct in the wild and that you could help prevent the increase of that?

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