Listening to the public

Sorry for the light blogging.  Things got busy again.  I remain perpetually impressed by people who can hold down a full-time job, have a life, and still blog 5 times per week.  I know I can’t pull it off.

Until I get the chance to write another substantial post, check out this surprisingly nuanced op-ed from Chris Mooney in the Washington Post. From the start of the piece:

Whenever controversies arise that pit scientists against segments of the U.S. public — the evolution debate, say, or the fight over vaccination — a predictable dance seems to unfold. One the one hand, the nonscientists appear almost entirely impervious to scientific data that undermine their opinions and prone to arguing back with technical claims that are of dubious merit. In response, the scientists shake their heads and lament that if only the public weren’t so ignorant, these kinds of misunderstandings wouldn’t occur.

But what if the fault actually lies with both sides?

Mooney built his reputation on the Republican War on Science, and has been criticized for oversimplification.  While I’ve argued that Mooney did have a point there, I also think he needs to calm down with the pro-science/anti-science rhetoric.  I’m happy that this essay contains none of that.  Also check out Matt Nisbet and Andy Revkin for more commentary.

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