Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Climate change - how should science work?


In the Wall Street Journal of 27 January 2012 (p12) sixteen prominent scientists have reflected on the climate warming debate, and suggest that drastic actions are not needed to stop global warming.  Note that they do not deny climate change; rather they reflect on how the debate is playing out.  In particular they suggest that many scientist fear speaking about the topic in case they are passed over for promotion or worse.

The article is well worth reading (No need to Panic About Global Warning, Allerge et.al., Wall Street Journal, Asian Edition, 27/1/2012, p.12) and reflecting upon! Here is the article -  no need to panic

Amongst other things, it is a good piece on how science should, or should not, work. 

For balance, readers should also read a response from the American Physical Society. APS response found here

There is one element of the contribution that should meet with widespread support in the science community.  Interestingly the article points to the need to support fundamental research to increase our understanding of climate.  This is a classic case of research in Pasteur’s Quadrant – the more the results of scientific research are applied to practical problems, the greater our need to discover new knowledge to inform the application.  This is not blue skies research : rather it is use-inspired fundamental research.

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