Just Science Week

OK, so after a little deliberation I’ve signed up for Just Science week. In a response to the strong anti-science presence on the internet (global warming denialists, creationists, the anti-vaccination movement etc.), starting 5th February science bloggers will post about science only, with at least one post per day for the whole week. Issues which are favoured by anti-scientific groups (creationism, global warming, etc.) will be either avoided, or discussed without reference to anti-scientific positions.

The rationale behind this is that many science bloggers end up spending a fair amount of time combating the misinformation spread by anti-science groups at the expense of blogging about actual science. I generally don’t want to get embroiled in these sorts of arguments – I’ll leave it to those with much stronger feelings on the subject, know more about it and are generally much more organised.

What I am more interested in is the relationship between science and policy- and decision-making, specifically from modelling/environmental/resource management perspectives. I’m with Allen et al. (2001 p.484):

“The postmodern world may be a nightmare for … normal science (Kuhn 1962), but science still deserves to be privileged, because it is still the best game in town. … [Scientists] need to continue to be meticulous and quantitative. But more than this, we need scientific models that can inform policy and action at the larger scales that matter. Simple questions with one right answer cannot deliver on that front. The myth of science approaching singular truth is no longer tenable, if science is to be useful in the coming age.”

Just this week I’ve been considering how the recent work emerging from Demos, the UK thinktank, relates to my PhD research (more on this and this in the future no doubt). The Prometheus blog is great source of inspiration and for this sort of discussion too. But, in the interests of Just Science week I’ll try to steer clear of that stuff and focus on some my work on wildfire regimes (that I haven’t talked about in much detail here but have outlined on my website), recent publication in the environmental modelling literature, and also I’m thinking maybe a post on the Geography of Science (seeing as I am Geographer at heart…)

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