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Let's hear it for scepticism: its suppression is one of the principal threats to science
Government Chief Scientific Adviser John Beddington should be forgiven for going over the top in attacking scepticism about climate change or genetically modified organisms, says Andy Stirling. Anyone besieged in the unforgiving world of science politics deserves to be cut some slack for inevitable (metaphorical) 'bad hair days'. In my case, there's been some three decades of fairly unrelenting (and more literal) regrettable hair! Few are more deserving of such tolerance than the UK government's chief scientist, John Beddington, who, as I know from personal experience, has to be admired on many counts: for his courage and integrity in helping wean science policy debates away from narrow sectoral interests and towards neglected global challenges like hunger, inequality, environmental degradation and diseases of poverty; for his championing of interdisciplinary problem-focused research against the prejudice and vanity of elite disciplinary institutions; and...
Posted Feb 18, 2011 at
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