More conversation — & an announcment of my commitment to the same

There are a lot of interesting conversations going in the comments section following my post on the new study on the extent of scientific consensus on climate change.

Indeed, it’s all much more interesting than anything I “said” in the post, which I think was deficient (particularly in the material before the “update” field) in the quantity of reasoned reflection, and the quality of constructive engagement, that usually are necessary to get a worthwhile exchange of views going. So thanks to the commentators for supplying those materials.

I will have more to say, in the comments & in a follow up post.  But there’s one point that I do want to make now & to “elevate” in effect.

It’s that I regard the authors of the scientific consensus study as serious scholars whose work is motivated by a very appropriate synthesis of scholarly and public aims. I think it’s likely they and I disagree about certain issues relating to science communication. But if so, those are the sorts of disagreements that people with a shared commitment to understanding complicated matters are bound to have; indeed, they are the sorts of disagreements that are the occasion for reasoned exchange among those who recognize that their common interest in gaining knowledge is best advanced by the dialectic of conjecture and refutation that is the signature of scientific inquiry.

No one should regard the manner in which I expressed myself as implying that I regard the authors as people whom I see as unworthy of being engaged in exactly that way.  If anyone did get that impression from how I expressed myself, then what he or she should infer is that I am not always as discriminating as I ought to be in judging the counsel of my passions.

Leave a Comment