MJC: Joern makes the case for science-activists. Interested readers may want to look at earlier AgroEcoEntries Neutrality and Bias and More on Advocacy & Bias: Action Ecology, as well as the classic piece, On Advocacy by Environmental Scientists: What, Whether, Why, and How by Michael Nelson and John Vucetich.

Ideas for Sustainability

By Joern Fischer

As Pim Martens and Jan Rotmans pointed out in the previous guest post, the old approach of “just providing the facts” is failing to get the simple message communicated to society that our world is falling apart. No wonder, really. While us scientists might think of ourselves as pretty special, we’re no more special to society as a whole than its businesses, politicians and other lobby groups. We have methods for how we come up with what we believe to be true (arguably, pretty  rigorous methods) — but other groups of people are just as entitled to communicating their points, which they believe to be important. Those points can range from “buy more burgers” to “help needy children”, and from “Vote for Me” to “Pray to Him”. In short: we’re one voice of many out there, and from the perspective of society as a whole (politicians…

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