Science & Politics Project

Methodology

A four-step process is envisaged:

  1. Collection of case studies exposing in a very concrete way how such misuses are being practiced. Examples can be found in hard sciences & technologies such as power generation (nuclear vs. the rest), genetic engineering, climatology, and public health, as well as in [soft] human sciences, e.g. sociology, or economics.
    Three issue areas were chosen to aliment the debate:
    • Climate Science and Climate Policy
      as an example of scientific findings becoming dogma
    • Genetically Modified Crops and Public Policy in agriculture
      as an example of rejected science for lack of conformance with expectations
    • Power Supply and Energy Policy
      as an example of confirmation bias in expert findings
    A legal assessment will be included, relative to each case, and with a general perspective.
  1. Involved persons from scientific and political circles will be asked to present their own views of the cases, in the form of a short position paper (confirmation or rebuttal).
  1. A public disputation will take place during which the cases and the comments will be summarized.
    In a round of discussion, every author and the involved persons will have to demonstrate that they understand the position of their contradictors, what are the major points of disagreement, and to which extent their own views may be changing.
  1. Publication of proceedings from the whole process, with final comments on the process itself and its outcome.

The intent is not to merge these different positions into a new consensual mainstream, but rather to lucidly expose behavioural and procedural paths leading to bad science at the service of bad policies, and vice versa.