Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Policy Mill Grinds Fine

The White House has announced new science policy guidelines for the US Government. More accurately, these are guidelines for agencies on how to deal with scientific personnel and public relations. There were, as some can recall, issues in the last administration about how public relations officers were "dealing" some scientists out. Among the few interesting points are:

Agencies should expand and promote access to scientific and technological information by making it available online in open formats. Where appropriate, this should include data and models underlying regulatory proposals and policy decisions.

Agencies should communicate scientific and technological findings by including a clear explication of underlying assumptions; accurate contectualiation of uncertainties; and a description of the probabilities associated with both optimistic and pessimistic projections, including best case and worst case scenarios where appropriate.

Mechanisms are in place to resolve disputes that arise from decisions to proceed or not to proceed with proposed interviews or other public information related activities.


dhogaza said...

I suppose everyone's noticed that RPJr is being trotted out to provide a "balanced" view vs. the various scientists that have been interviewed?

From the NY Times for instance:

"Some scientists praised the new guidelines. “I think they represent several steps in the right direction,” said Albert H. Teich, director of science and policy programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.

But others were disappointed that the four-page document did not provide more specifics. “The guidelines are substantively quite thin,” said Roger A. Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado."

Clearing representing RPJr as a scientist, not a political scientist, equally qualified to speak as is the AAAS guy ...

His quotes in the Times are actually harmless (rather pointless, really, he just provides weak criticism), but elsewhere he's tried to "set the record straight", pointing out that science was no more politicized during the W administration than at other times (yeah, right).

Hank Roberts said...

The context:

"... Americans who relied on Fox News were 'significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe':... most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 [percent more likely]) ..."

John Farley said...

I know Al Teich. He's a physicist by background.

Anonymous said...

"contectualiation" Typo or as it was written?

Little Mouse

Magnus Westerstrand said...

My chocolate brothers seems to be at it again!

Anonymous said...

Sure, you could tickle me with a feather...or call me a DK bird but,
How can so many brite lite's be so ignorant?

simpleton, fool, dunce, know-nothing.


1577, Anglo-Fr. legal term, from L. ignoramus "we do not know," first person present indicative of ignorare "not to know" (see ignorant). The legal term was one a grand jury could write on a bill when it considered the prosecution's evidence insufficient. Sense of "ignorant person" came from the title role of George Ruggle's 1615 play satirizing the ignorance of common lawyers.

The writing is on the wall for all can see...
Whooo's--- flappin now?:o)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I for one welcome our new Whig overlords to the new , smoke, republican and gluten -free AAAS.