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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Scientists terrified that people don't trust them?

But how much "trust" in science is reasonable?

In a most interesting article, "Whither the revered scientist?", Peter Calamai of the Toronto Star asks, noting
After two days of provocative ideas and spirited exchanges at an international gathering recently in Toronto, British museum curator Robert Bud neatly summed up the collective wisdom.

"The scientists are terrified."

This widespread angst among scientists has been sparked by evidence that the traditional social compact between science and the public has been irrevocably sundered. Put bluntly, much of the public no longer implicitly trusts either scientists or their pronouncements about everything from climate change to the safety of children's vaccines.

Most people begin to lose trust when they are ordered to believe stuff they suspect ain't so.

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