New Report: A ‘consensus-building’ approach to science might represent a politicised and unscientific belief in science — Consensus ‘science in direct opposition to the ethos of ‘normal science’

This report positively concludes that an alleged near unanimous scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), that “the science is settled”, is overstated. The report finds a robust, critical scientific discourse in climate related research, yet it highlights that a “consensus-building” approach to science might represent a politicised and unscientific belief in science – a belief in tension with the ethos of “normal science”. The report calls for a continuing questioning, critical, and undogmatic public debate over man-made global warming, and a clearer separation between science and policy. –Consensus and Controversy, SINTEF April 2013

By insisting on scientific consensus and the “elimination of doubt”, seeking to declare the science of AGW settled once and for all, and imbuing this putative settlement with highly normative and pejorative allegations (to question is “irresponsible, reckless and immoral”), the consensus approach clings to being (solely) “science-based”, but its position is at the same time implicitly in direct opposition to the ethos of “normal science”. It is not supported, justified or endorsed by science in its canonical expression, where science, based on thinkers such as Kant,  Popper, Merton and Polanyi is seen to be constituted on continued discussion, open criticism, antidogmatism, (self)critical mindset, methodological doubt, and the organization of scepticism. –Consensus and Controversy, SINTEF April 2013

The authors of this paper recently presented their views on climate science at the Royal Academy of Belgium. No French or Belgian newspaper was willing to publish their assessment. Questioning the impact of mankind on climate change is evidently still a taboo in the French-speaking world. –István E. Markó, Alain Préat, Henri Masson and Samuel Furfari, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 14 April 2013


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