Consider: two scientists are asked whether there’s any doubt that humans are responsible for climate change. The first says, “It’s a fact humans are causing climate change – there’s no room for doubt.” The second replies, “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, but in science there’s always room for doubt.”
The first scientist is probably a more effective spokesperson for the scientific consensus. But the second scientist is providing a more accurate representation of how science works.
This example defines the tension at the boundary between the realms of science and public opinion.
Is the aim of scientific advocacy to compellingly communicate particular scientific ideas, or to instill a way of understanding the natural world? Should scientists defend science or model science?
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