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I'd agree that science needs an internal shake-up. But keep in mind the pressures are external, and at least partly the fault of the Hobbesian values that also support neo-classical economics.

Ultra-competition, style over substance, egotistic posturing over actual discovery are not necessarily inherently scientific. They're certainly features of academia, but I'm not convinced their effects can't be minimised to the point where they're no longer a key driver of the culture.

As for peer review and data sharing - from the climate denialist point of view, this is missing the point. Even if the scientific community agreed consistently, peer reviewed all models, shared data religiously, and created a clear consensus, the denialists would find one tenured kook and plaster them all over the front pages and the wacko blogs to 'disprove' the scientists.

This is not about evidence or honesty, it's about story-telling and persuasion.

There are certainly things scientists could do, but in terms of political rather than scientific effectiveness, improved transparency comes pretty low on the list.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2009 at 12:46:14 PM EST
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