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Should Scientists Be Dishonest To Convince Us?

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On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

My view is that scientists are just people who couldn't brave the outside world so stayed at uni. Left-wingers seem to see them as some sort of fount of honesty and truth. I agree with having policy guided by scientist's advice but always have in mind Eisenhower's quote that, "in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite".

I feel the latter has already happened with climate science, and the enviromentalists involved have converged on that science in order to influence public policy based not on the best science but instead on their own political leanings.

Science is being abused for political means.

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I think you may be missing the nuance of that quote. He's saying that one can ear different hats at different times, and that whilst as a scientist he may be constrained in his language, as an actor in the media circus he has to play a dumbed-down game.

You only have to look at media portrayal of any complex issue to see that as a truism.

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I think you may be missing the nuance of that quote. He's saying that one can ear different hats at different times, and that whilst as a scientist he may be constrained in his language, as an actor in the media circus he has to play a dumbed-down game.

Media circus participation being voluntary though, no?

You only have to look at media portrayal of any complex issue to see that as a truism.

True, but so what?

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awaits Injin's usual demonstration that he doesn't understand what science is...

Aww now, you've lost that argument many times so let's not derail this one. :)

on topic -

It seesm to me that the guy can either stick with the truth and have integrity or make stuff up/simplify and sell out.

If he's selling out he loses all credibility, if he sticks to the thorny truth (assuming he's actually found it) he thinks no one will listen to him. That's honest feedback right there though - if no one cares, no one cares.

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I think you may be missing the nuance of that quote. He's saying that one can ear different hats at different times, and that whilst as a scientist he may be constrained in his language, as an actor in the media circus he has to play a dumbed-down game.

You only have to look at media portrayal of any complex issue to see that as a truism.

Why should he say something different to the media to that he says to you and I? I think the quote is damning - Schneider clearly admits that it makes sense to lie to the "rabble" in order to convince us of policies that he as a scientist has worked out are for the best of society.

It's the old one a out power corrupting, isn't it?

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No if they are dishonest and refuse to reveal all of their data and methodology they should be shot.

Cold fusion has been touted many times they showed their methods and data and were proven to be incorrect for the shysters they were.

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Aww now, you've lost that argument many times so let's not derail this one

Nope, I've usually got to the point of showing that what you say only holds inside your own head, and then left you to flounder in your own circular arguments

Having the last word is not equal to winning an argument Injin - it's sometimes more a sign of of being the better bore ;)

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Why should he say something different to the media to that he says to you and I?

Cos that's how the media operate. Everything anyone says that you hear through the media is just that - filtered through their limited mono-braincell perception

I think the quote is damning

Mmm

I think you'd already assembled the view that he was damned, and are interpreting the quote to support your prejudice.

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Nope, I've usually got to the point of showing that what you say only holds inside your own head, and then left you to flounder in your own circular arguments

Actually you tried to point to external evidence, proving me right and yourself wrong.

Having the last word is not equal to winning an argument Injin - it's sometimes more a sign of of being the better bore ;)

But you try nonethelss, even where it isn't relevent.

Back on topic, do you have anything to say about my "sell out versus honesty" position on the matter at hand?

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Back on topic, do you have anything to say about my "sell out versus honesty" position on the matter at hand?

Nope

Because debating with you is like trying to have an intelligent conversation with an I-speak-your-weight machine

I could easily script your side of the argument myself; it just ends in repeated "oh yes it is" and a reference to anything you didn't say yourself being a product of threatened violence :lol:

So no, Injin. Since you can easily outbore me, I'll bow out now and leave you to what you'll think is a victory.

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Nope

Because debating with you is like trying to have an intelligent conversation with an I-speak-your-weight machine

I could easily script your side of the argument myself; it just ends in repeated "oh yes it is" and a reference to anything you didn't say yourself being a product of threatened violence :lol:

So no, Injin. Since you can easily outbore me, I'll bow out now and leave you to what you'll think is a victory.

Nothing changes by doing this.

Facts remain.

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My view is that scientists are just people who couldn't brave the outside world so stayed at uni. Left-wingers seem to see them as some sort of fount of honesty and truth. I agree with having policy guided by scientist's advice but always have in mind Eisenhower's quote that, "in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite".

I feel the latter has already happened with climate science, and the enviromentalists involved have converged on that science in order to influence public policy based not on the best science but instead on their own political leanings.

Science is being abused for political means.

Global Warming is an attempt by left wing scientists to create a new world religion IMO. Most left wing scientists hate the idea of God so they are trying to create an updated version of pagan worship of 'Mother Earth'.

TBH I think they are barking up the wrong tree - if we are going to dump God we should worship the Sun because that's what controls Earth's climate.

:rolleyes:

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Nothing changes by doing this.

Facts remain.

If only we could be sure that facts are actually facts.

The Earth's climate is warming - I mean we know that's a fact surely?

:blink:

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If only we could be sure that facts are actually facts.

The Earth's climate is warming - I mean we know that's a fact surely?

:blink:

Knowing about it either way doesn't change it.

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Did you stroke your chin and slowly nod whilst typing that ?

:D

No, I was feeling deep pity for you and drinking a cold one.

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The late Stephen Schneider was just plain wrong on this one.

If you're following the science, then there is no choice between effectiveness and honesty. You must chose honesty every time. And not a "half-truth" type honesty either, but a full and open honesty in which all possible uncertainties and limitations are on display for all to see.

If you are going to make a judgement call between effectiveness and honesty, you are no longer behaving as a scientist. You are behaving as an advocate, a marketeer, a salesman, a politician*. You can't be one of those and be a scientist at the same time.

Point of note: this is not the same as having your own opinions and views. All scientists have opinions and views. It is just how you present them that matters. And being a scientist requires the utmost honesty and objectivity.

(Edited to add: * this list should have included lawyer and estate agent, as well)

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Knowing about it either way doesn't change it.

But is it getting warmer or cooler?

This is a factual question, but as we have discussed before there are no factual answers.

So basing a whole philosophy on 'facts'

Seems like building castles made of sand to me

:)

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But is it getting warmer or cooler?

This is a factual question, but as we have discussed before there are no factual answers.

So basing a whole philosophy on 'facts'

Seems like building castles made of sand to me

:)

I don't know either way.

I do know we should look for the facts if the question is of interest to us, even if we don't find them.

Looking for loopholes in reality won't work, btw.

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I don't know either way.

I do know we should look for the facts if the question is of interest to us, even if we don't find them.

Looking for loopholes in reality won't work, btw.

The problem is, science is completely unable to define reality.

The only question that has any real meaning is - what is it all about?

And the only answer that has any real meaning is - we don't know.

:blink:

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BTW - at the risk of causing a kerfuffle

Have a group of posters left or been banned while I was 'on a break' ?

I used to really enjoy winding up Steve Cook the psychologist with no understanding of human psychology and Absolute Zero the teacher with an IQ of -273.

And what the heck is this secret UF board?

Was I on their blacklist?

I would be gutted if I wasn't.

And try as I might, how come I never get banned from anywhere?

:blink:

See my blinky emoticon - he's blinking - AT YOU!!!!!

:lol:

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BTW - at the risk of causing a kerfuffle

Have a group of posters left or been banned while I was 'on a break' ?

I used to really enjoy winding up Steve Cook the psychologist with no understanding of human psychology and Absolute Zero the teacher with an IQ of -273.

And what the heck is this secret UF board?

Was I on their blacklist?

I would be gutted if I wasn't.

And try as I might, how come I never get banned from anywhere?

:blink:

See my blinky emoticon - he's blinking - AT YOU!!!!!

:lol:

And you're left with the most marvellous example of reinforcement. Look at you and Injin above, enjoying mutual intellectual masturbation :lol:

It'd be sad if it weren't so funny. And, happily, irrelevant ;)

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And you're left with the most marvellous example of reinforcement. Look at you and Injin above, enjoying mutual intellectual masturbation :lol:

It'd be sad if it weren't so funny. And, happily, irrelevant ;)

I was actually making fun of myself in my last post - but as usual people here missed the point.

And do you not see the irony in describing people posting on internet forums as sad when you are doing exactly the same thing yourself?

In fact, the main reason that I feel intellectually superior to most people here is that realise I am sad - wheras the rest of you seem completely oblivious to your own pretty obvious psychological problems.

;)

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But is it getting warmer or cooler?

Well, New Zealand was getting cooler in the actual temperature measurements but warmer once the 'scientists' had finished 'adjusting' them to use in their computer models, so the correct answer would appear to be 'both'.

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  • 142 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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