Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spout Out To: Australian Scientific Brothers and Sisters

Spout Out To: 
Australian Scientific 
Brothers and Sisters

I am horrified to realize that our Scientific Brothers and Sisters in Australia are receiving death threats and harassment over their climate change research.  Dr. Michael Brown from Monash University recently wrote a great article on this topic.

What is at the heart of this is not one individual topic but the lack of connection people feel with the scientific community.  

Recently Science and Technology of Australia started a campaign called "Respect The Science"I really applaud these efforts.

Dr Christina Stam, NASA/JPL  (BOS Team Member)

In my own work I have come across a strong disconnect of what scientists are communicating and what people are understanding.  

Understanding Good Science Leads To Good Policy

In scientist school, we are not taught or encouraged to be great communicators.  We need help to get good scientifically validated information out to people. 

We as a global community can accomplish this by supporting scientists who are good communicators, providing new tools with multi-media experts, or pairing scientists with communication experts. 

Dr's Greg Ferry, Andrea Neal and Heather Coleman
Examine the contents of a manta trawl
(Lone Ranger Marine Debris Mission - January 2011)
In any event, what is always true is that all a scientist really has is "Scientific Integrity". Scientific integrity is what makes scientists a great tool for the formation of policy and education that should be utilized more.  

For scientists to be a good tool, they need to be able to remain impartial, meaning "Just the facts and only the facts".  We should not be swayed by one side or another on a topic of debate because of feelings or monetary concerns.  This is why asking people to support true scientific efforts is so important.  Today scientists are forced to undertake creative funding efforts.  Scientists are scraping by. Lack of funding for true scientific efforts when we need it the most is a disaster waiting to happen. 

Lack of Funding For Science Is Bad For Us, Bad for Policy, and Bad for The Environment.

Dr. Heather ColemanMonitoring Surface Trawl
(Lone Ranger Marine Debris Mission - January 2011)
Professor Ian ChubbChief Scientist for Australia, says it best in his piece 
Important for our nation to respect the science
"What is important to remember is that scientists have conducted extensive research into their chosen field of study, and do not lay claims without evidence to support their findings."

"Sometimes scientific research can lead to discoveries and findings that people do not want to hear – but that does not mean that they shouldn’t hear them.  Nor that governments should not respond to them."

I think the message is pretty clear. 
 We need solid, scientific facts communicated in a way that is understood by all 
to create impactful policy and decision making processes.   

1 comment:

  1. what types of plastics does the debris consist of in the pacific ocean garbage patch and in what ratios?