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    Malcolm MacGarvin said:

    To me Anne Glover is spot on as quoted in the article re. the relation between science and politics, but too often this is not what comes across in the reporting of the demand ‘evidence-based policy’(in the article title) or ‘sound science’. We have been here before —- it is worth reading and reflecting on why it was that philosopher Karl Popper (scourge of ‘pseuodoscience’ and no softy on the importance of science to society) nevertheless felt compelled to point out in his ’45 Open Society and its Enemies Vol 1 Ch 5 that “It is impossible to derive a sentence stating a norm or a decision from a sentence stating a fact”. ‘Facts’ may really be facts, but even if so, what society chooses to do about them involves value judgements. It doesn’t do any harm either to know what Kuhn (Structure Scientific Revolutions, ’62) and Price (Scientific Estate ’65) had to say about the matter. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it – Santayana 1906!

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    Steven Earl SALMONY said:

    If we do nothing else than offer those who do survive some sort of unimaginable apocalypse what turns out to be a viable path to the future, a sustainable way to fare forward by doing things differently from the way we are doing them now, that would be a good thing. But we cannot achieve such a goal unless we can agree to rely on the best available science, not preternatural pseudoscience such as we see displayed ubiquitously in our time by economists and demographers. Science needs to be distinguished from what is not science. Scientific knowledge is different from the false knowledge provided by pseudoscientists. The fact that massive confusion is allowed to exist with regard to what is science and what is not science cannot be correct or allowed to stand unchallenged. Scientists could choose to stop colluding in silence and instead speak out loudly, clearly and often about distinctions between science and preternatural pseudoscience. The human community is presented with the global predicament that looms before us at least in part because scientists have remained silent.

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