Heather Douglas, a researcher at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada recently gave a talk at the Science and Citizens conference in Costa Rica.
It’s a comprehensive overview of the nature of science, the role citizens play in the scientific process, addressing controversies and public engagement.
Her main conclusions are that if we:
- Educate the public on the nature of science
- Be clear when issue is matter of faith or matter of science
- Demand intellectual integrity from everyone
- Think through what evidence might be convincing
- Pay attention to the range of concerns present with an issue
- Pay attention to the ethical values involved with weighing inductive risks
- Construct social forums where genuine dialogue can occur
We will have:
- A citizenry that understands what science is and why it is important
- A body of research that can be used to inform public decisions
- Advice that is scientifically legitimate and democratically accountable