Presentation: How to grapple with science advice in ideological conflicts

Download Heather’s slides on our SlideShare account

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