[Coral-List] Coral Reef Curmudgeons

Quenton Dokken qdokken at gulfmex.org
Tue Sep 21 09:21:47 EDT 2010

Well said Ulf and Steve.  It is also important that we start focusing on the
message and not the messenger.  As scientist we should apply our critical
analysis training to highlight strengths and weaknesses in the message -
regardless of who delivered it.  During the media frenzy associated with the
Macondo blowout I was amazed how often the media accepted the question as
the fact.  They did not understand that simply because a "scientist" posed a
question - this did not define it as fact.  No one explained to them that
first a question is asked, then a hypothesis to be tested is formulated, a
testing strategy is designed and implemented, and the results are
interpreted to determine fact. As Steve advocated scientists must accept a
higher responsibility.  Those actively pursuing facts through the scientific
method need to avoid the "Jerry Springer" stage.


Quenton Dokken, Ph.D.
Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Inc.
PMB 51 5403 Everhart Rd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Office:  3833 South Staples Suite S214
                Corpus Christi, TX 78411

361-882-3939 o
361-882-1262 f
361-442-6064 c


-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Ulf Erlingsson
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2010 3:59 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral Reef Curmudgeons

Steve, after the experience many had in the global warming debate  
(being vilified or even demonized for having a different opinion) I  
think most scientists have learned by now that one cannot say things  
that are not PC, no matter how true or important they are...

Ulf Erlingsson

On 2010-09-20, at 15:42, Steve Mussman wrote:

> I for one have no interest in getting involved with any list
> that has as it's purpose to provoke, condemn or embarrass anyone
> based on their posted opinions. But, at the same time, I do believe
> that many of you "scientists" must come to realize the extent of
> the responsibility that you have come to possess. (Like it or not.)
> What will it take to get you to throw off your concerns about
> political correctness and institutionalized censorship and come
> to understand that there are actually issues at stake that require
> a more courageous and selfless level of participation?
> I know that considering your diversified backgrounds there are bound
> to be differences of opinion, but I fail to understand how so many  
> well
> educated individuals credentialed in the marine sciences can just
> sit by and fiddle while Rome burns.
> (Or while marine ecosystems approach their demise.)
> The bottom line is, in my opinion, that science holds the keys to our
> planet's future and perhaps the future of mankind.
> (Forgive the melodramatic emphasis.)
> If any special interests are allowed to control the information
> necessary for a thorough debate, then the die has surely been cast.
> Somehow all of you must be encouraged to speak your minds and to do  
> so somewhere
> in a way that emphatically enlightens the public on the issues of  
> the day.
> This can be done without fear of litigation, but not without  
> fortitude.
> There should be enough impetus in just considering what is at stake.
>    Regards,
>   Steve Mussman
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> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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