Category Archives: Ethics

Trial of the century?

BBC Newshour:  Judith Curry and Bob Ward debate Steyn versus Mann

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Mann versus Steyn

by Judith Curry

Some interesting developments and rhetoric in the Mann versus Steyn lawsuit.

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Mann on advocacy and responsibility

by Judith Curry

 “If you see something, say something.”

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Scientific uncertainties and moral dilemmas

by Judith Curry

[P]utting adaptation and mitigation issues into the broader context of competing needs and limited resources raises moral problems that cannot be easily dismissed. – Hillerbrand and Ghil

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Rethinking climate advocacy

UPDATE:  twitter exchange with Gavin

by Judith Curry

The failures of climate advocacy – particularly in the US – are motivating reflection on responsible and effective advocacy.  Gavin Schmidt provides his thoughts on the topic of scientists and advocacy in his recent AGU talk.

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The ethics of framing science

by Judith Curry

. . . as scientists are increasingly viewed not as honest brokers, but as advocates aligned with the goals of the Democratic party, scientists and their organizations risk losing public trust and only likely contribute to polarization on hot button issues like climate change.

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(Micro)agressions on social media

by Judith Curry

Online bullying is an issue of growing concern.  The flip side is shining an online ‘light’ on hidden bullying.

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Quote of the week

by Judith Curry

Climate researchers have an obligation not to environmental policy but to the truth.

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Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise

by Judith Curry

Researchers need to communicate the policy implications of their results clearly and comprehensively to policy makers and the public—including a clear assessment of the uncertainties associated with their results—while avoiding advocacy based on their authority as researchers.

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Scientists and motivated reasoning

by Judith Curry

Motivated reasoning affects scientists as it does other groups in society, although it is often pretended that scientists somehow escape this predicament.

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Proactionary principle

by Judith Curry

Between no action and precaution.

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Conflicts between climate and energy priorities

by Judith Curry

The world’s poor need more than a token supply of electricity.  The goal should be to provide the power necessary to boost productivity and raise living standards.  - Morgan Brazilian and Roger Pielke Jr.

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(Ir)responsible advocacy by scientists

by Judith Curry

Advocacy by scientists seems to be the issue of the week.  What (if anything) constitutes responsible advocacy by scientists?

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On confusing expertise and objectivity

by Judith Curry

Having great intelligence or specialized knowledge isn’t assurance against a person remaining unbiased in their public opinions.

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Tamsin on scientists and policy advocacy

As a climate scientist, I’m under pressure to be a political advocate. – Tamsin Edwards

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Manufacturing consensus: clinical guidelines

by Judith Curry

Yet these and other guidelines continue to be followed despite concerns about bias, because “We like to stick within the standard of care, because when the shit hits the fan we all want to be able to say we were just doing what everyone else is doing—even if what everyone else is doing isn’t very good.” – Jeanne Lenzer

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10 signs of intellectual honesty

by Judith Curry

When it comes to just about any topic, it seems as if the public discourse on the internet is dominated by rhetoric and propaganda. People are either selling products or ideology. In fact, just because someone may come across as calm and knowledgeable does not mean you should let your guard down and trust what they say. What you need to look for is a track record of intellectual honesty. – Mike Gene

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We’re not screwed (?)

by Judith Curry

We’re screwed: 11,000 years’ worth of ­climate data prove it.  It’s among the most compelling bits of proof out there that human beings are behind global warming, and as such has become a target on Mann’s back for climate denialists looking to draw a bead on scientists. The Atlantic, March 9th

We’re not screwed. The trouble is, as they quietly admitted over the weekend, their new and stunning claim is groundless. The real story is only just emerging, and it isn’t pretty. – Ross McKitrick

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Congressional testimony and normative science

by Judith Curry

Last week, the U.S. Senate held a hearing entitled Senate Briefing on the Latest Climate Science.
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The horsemeat argument

by Judith Curry

So, what does the UK scandal involving horsemeat in lasagna have to do with climate change?

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Can we avoid fooling ourselves?

by Judith Curry

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

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How might intellectual humility lead to scientific insight?

by Judith Curry

Philosophers known as “virtue epistemologists” claim that the goods of the intellectual life—knowledge, wisdom, understanding, etc.—are more easily obtained by persons possessing mature traits of intellectual character, such as open-mindedness, teachability, and intellectual courage, than by persons who lack these virtues or who are marked by their opposing vices.  - Jay Wood

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Italian seismologists: guilty(?)

by Judith Curry

Six Italian scientists and an ex-government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 deadly earthquake in L’Aquila. – BBC

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Rebuilding public trust in science for policy-making: Japan perspective

by Judith Curry

Until recently, there was little recognition within Japan’s science policy circle of the need to discuss the role of science in government policy-making. A rather innocent notion that the established knowledge and wisdom of scientists would ensure proper decision-making was prevalent. - Arimoto and Sato

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Refocusing the debate about advocacy

by Judith Curry

The notion that a scientist is either an advocate or does nothing at all to shape policy is a false dichotomy that has muddied the debate about science and advocacy. – Scott and Rachlow

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