Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Jordan- Why scientists are marching  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Jordan Times - 20/04/2017
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - #Jordan Times) By Stephen Matlin, Goverdhan Mehta,Henning Hopf and Alain Krief

On April 22, scientists from around the world will mark Earth Day by participating in an unprecedented 'March for Science'.

The aim of the march will be to 'celebrate and defend science at all levels — from local schools to federal agencies'.

For the rest of the world, it is important to understand why the usually sedate community of scientists will be leaving their labs and offices to take to the streets in a global demonstration of concern.

The answer was signalled in November 2016, when Oxford Dictionaries named 'post-truth' its 'Word of the Year'.

In an era in which 'objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief', scientists like us cannot afford to stay silent any longer.

So we will be marching to return scientific 'certainty' to its rightful place in public debate.

'Post-truth' describes well a year in which disregard for facts became a pervasive feature in world politics.

As a candidate, Donald Trump denied the overwhelming evidence for climate change, endorsed the discredited claim that vaccinations caused autism, and asserted that compact fluorescent light bulbs can cause cancer.

But Trump does not have a monopoly on post-truth politicking.

Policymakers in the US and Europe have trafficked in equally outrageous 'expert views' on the consequences of their opponents' positions on topics ranging from genetically modified foods to nuclear energy to Brexit.

Recent social media attacks on a measles-rubella vaccination campaign even surfaced in India, fuelling a mix of conspiracy theories, safety concerns and questions of motivation — and demonstrating the extent to which lives can be imperilled when facts are ignored.

Earlier warnings, such as Ralph Keyes' 2004 book 'The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life', attracted little attention from the science community.

That is because we had heard it all before; 'post-truth' responses to 'objective facts' are as old as science itself.

An early example was the persistent belief in a flat earth, a view maintained for centuries after the ancient Greeks had accumulated clear evidence to the contrary.

In some places, the denial and invective hurled at Darwin and his theory of evolution in the 19th century continue to this day.

'Don't confuse me with the facts,' goes an old joke capturing the post-truth sensibility: 'My mind is made up.'

But now we have arrived at a watershed moment, when this sensibility has entered the political mainstream, influencing policies that will profoundly affect the health and wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants.

Those who regard the scientific method — the systematic observation, measurement and hypothesis testing that has underpinned humans' apprehension of ourselves and the world for centuries — as a core value of society must step forward to defend its central role in guiding public debate and decision-making.

To be persuasive, however, we scientists must put our own house in order, by avoiding behaviour that can fuel post-truth rhetoric.

Lapses in ethical standards give ammunition to the enemies of science.

When published findings are based on falsified data or deliberately misleading conclusions, the credibility of every scientist suffers.

Peer review must be rigorous and always strive to detect and snuff out shoddy or deceptive work.

Equally important, researchers must do a better job explaining what scientific 'certainty' means, helping the public and policymakers to distinguish between proven hypotheses and unverified theories.

They must show how alternate models are tested against all available evidence under controlled conditions, yielding observations that can be repeated — and measurements that can be reproduced — by other researchers.

Conclusions that are not derived from such carefully controlled observations must remain conjecture.

Those engaged in science urgently need to develop and implement more effective strategies to communicate scientific advances and discoveries that affect society and the environment.

A central focus of this effort should be to explain and defend the methods and rigour of the underlying process of evidence collection and validation.

Simply put, a higher level of science literacy among the public, the media, and especially among policymakers is essential to recognising and rejecting unreasoned attempts to discredit science and scientists.

In his 1946 book 'The Discovery of India', India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, advocated the development of a 'scientific temper' — the adoption of the scientific method as a way of life.

To defeat the post-truth threat, that temper is needed now more than ever.

On April 22, let us defend it with passion.

Stephen Matlin is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London. Goverdhan Mehta is university distinguished professor of chemistry at the University of Hyderabad. Henning Hopf is a professor in the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Technische Universitt Braunschweig. Alain Krief, executive director of the International Organisation for Chemical Sciences in Development, is emeritus professor of chemistry at Namur University and an adjunct professor in the HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry at the University of Karachi. Project Syndicate, 2017. www.project-syndicate.org

MENAFN2004201700280000ID1095406701


 


Jordan Times




  MENA News Headlines
 Apr 27 2017 - Afghanistan- The Growing MistrustDaily Outlook Afghanistan
(MENAFN - Daily Outlook Afghanistan) Following the Friday's deadly attacks on a military base in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghan MPs lashed out at Pakistan. The attack, which killed and wounded hundreds of ...

 Apr 27 2017 - The Relentless Violation of Human RightsDaily Outlook Afghanistan
(MENAFN - Daily Outlook Afghanistan) The heart-wrenching picture of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on September 02, 2015, reflected the pains and ...

 Apr 27 2017 - U.S. Deeply Concerned about Turkey's Airstrikes in Syria, IraqDaily Outlook Afghanistan
(MENAFN - Daily Outlook Afghanistan) WASHINGTON - The United States said Tuesday it is "deeply concerned" that Turkey conducted airstrikes in Syria and Iraq without "proper ...

 Apr 27 2017 - Afghan, Iraq Troops a 'Long-Term' Pledge: TurnbullDaily Outlook Afghanistan
(MENAFN - Daily Outlook Afghanistan) KABUL - Australian soldiers will remain in Iraq and Afghanistan for a long time, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said during a secret visit to the Middle ...

 Apr 27 2017 - Jordan- No casualties in military helicopter crashJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, Apr. 26 (Petra) -- A Cobra helicopter Wednesday crashed into the ground, due to technical failure during a training trip in the Al Ghabawi area, eastern Amman, ...

 Apr 27 2017 - Joint Jordanian-Saudi military drill continuesJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, April 26 (Petra) -- A joint Jordanian-Saudi military drill which kicked off last week continued Wednesday by the Royal Saudi Navy's Eastern Fleet and Jordan's ...

 Apr 27 2017 - Jordan- Interior minister discusses with British official security cooperationJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, April 27 (Petra)--Interior Minister Ghalib Al Zu'bi on Thursday, discussed with London Metropolitan Police's acting deputy commissioner Police Mark Rowley, scopes ...

 Apr 27 2017 - Jordan issues $500mln EurobondsJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, April 26 (Petra) -- The ministry of finance on Wednesday announced that it had successfully issued $500 million worth of Eurobonds on international markets with a ...

 Apr 27 2017 - Jordan- King congratulates Sierra Leone, Togo on national daysJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) For newspapers........ Amman, April 27 (Petra)--His Majesty King Abdullah II, on Thursday, sent cables of congratulations to President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma ...

 Apr 27 2017 - Jordan- State minister for media affairs meets IINA directorJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, April 27 (Petra)--State Minister for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani received on Thursday, Director General of the International Islamic ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Search News
Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help