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Science is increasingly the battlefield on which political advocates manipulate ‘facts’ to support their positions. Roger Pielke Jr believes that the scientific community must change if it is to prevent science’s contribution to effective policy development from being diminished, and the practice of science from being compromised.

He looks at global climate change, nuclear power and biodiversity — issues that are complicated by powerful economic and political interests — and concludes that science is becoming yet another playing field for power politics, with much that it has to offer policy-makers, and hence society, being lost.

Pielke suggests that the scientific community should consider providing its insight in a more systematic way through independent, authoritative bodies, so that the choices available to policy-makers and the public are expanded.

Reference: Nature 416, 367 (2002)

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