Redefining 'sound science'
In recent years, 'sound science' has been increasingly used to justify policy decisions on a variety of issues, ranging from climate change to nuclear waste and arsenic in water.
In this article, Sunita Narain, director of the India-based Centre for Science and Environment, argues that the term is being abused, and that questioning the scientific basis of issues has become the weapon of government and industry to protect their interests.
Narain argues that the Indian scientific establishment must engage more in public concerns. And, she argues, we should accept that science is not the ultimate truth, and that scientific uncertainty can never be completely eliminated. Science must guide policy, she says, but, ultimately, societal values and ethics must underwrite that policy code.