The Trouble with the March for Science: A Conversation with Adam Rome

A booth set up by the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on State Street during Earth Week. Photo by Michael Sievers, 1970.

9 Responses

  1. Andy Davey says:

    I wanted to add that Andrew Stuhl’s essay, “Why Our Students Should Debate Climate Change” is a great companion to this one:

    A great excerpt from that essay, featuring a quotation from scientist and environmental activist Barry Commoner:

    “In 1966, Commoner—himself trained as a molecular biologist—wrote, ‘The notion that…scientists have a special competence in public affairs is . . . profoundly destructive of the democratic process. If we are guided by this view, science will not only create [problems] but also shield them from the customary process of administrative decision making and public judgment.’ If a climate scientist were to make such an announcement now, we would fear she had been bought and paid for by industry, like other denialists. We shouldn’t read Commoner’s words through today’s discourse of anti-intellectualism, though. Instead…we need to interpret them with the spirit of citizen empowerment.”

  2. old friend says:

    Andy Davey et al really pulling at my heart-strings here. As a practicing engineer in an energy-focused industry, I find it refreshing to be reminded that the technical challenges I face are hollow without a sense of the humanist, social, ecological consequences. It was great to hear a nuanced, skeptical, and historically-informed view of the march coming this Saturday. It was great to be reminded that the public, especially the rural or working-class public, are not necessarily sympathetic to the view point that relies solely on a scientific basis, and in fact are in many cases growing weary or pessimistic of the those who lean too heavily on the traditional scientific approach. Thanks, Andy.

  3. Andy Davey says:

    Thanks for the kind words and thoughtful comments, “old friend.”


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