[Coral-List] Coral Reef Curmudgeons

Ulf Erlingsson ceo at lindorm.com
Wed Sep 22 10:15:00 EDT 2010

This is not about coral, but it is crucial for the future of science.

How shall we evaluate research?

Already the old Greeks knew that it was the message, not the  
messenger, that we shall pay attention to. So how comes that so many  
today focus on where the message comes from? It is and remains  

The fact is that scientists depend on funding, and funding is not  
results-neutral in many cases. Thus, the bias is more likely to be in  
what scientific inquiry is carried out (or not carried out), than in  
the results that are published. If we disregard results from a  
certain sector a priori, we are back to the Dark Ages...

All results have to be critically evaluated based on merits, without  
regard for who wrote it.

On 2010-09-21, at 13:14, Dr. Elaine M. Abusharbain wrote:

>   Dear Coral Listers,
> I am not a biological or coral reef scientist, but as I science  
> educator
> I see these problems as important in science ed. Are American  
> Enterprise
> Institute scientists really scientists? They were funded $ 23  
> million by
> Exxon to produce climate change science. Is this stuff peer reviewed
> when it comes from a think tank? I don't think so. The public sees
> scientists with PhD's doing research and considers it valid science.
> How can you blame the public for not understanding this subtle but  
> huge
> difference? Yet who is on NPR just about every day posing as a  
> reputable
> view on all kinds of matters including climate change.
> Scientists have produced NAS, IPPC etc reports, years ago.  In my
> dealings with nonbiology majors in college and most biology majors,  
> they
> are unaware of these kinds of influences nor the scientific reports  
> even
> though they understand the importance of peer review.
> There is much to educate about and not enough science educators out
> there who take on the charge.  Our media is very controlled if even
> biology students are unaware of these kinds of reports (until they  
> take
> ecology of course and many won't)
> Thanks, I am on the list to become educated in coral science.... so I
> usually keep to myself.

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