Tag Archives: framing

Different ways of understanding?

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergency

Several science bloggers have been commenting on a post by Matt Nisbet at Framing Science (see The Ethics of Framing Science: Four Guiding Principles). Matt has provoked extensive discussion before by claiming that scientists often frame arguments badly when they get involved in public discussion about science.

I agree that anyone involved in public discussion must pay attention to the way they frame their arguments. They must understand their audience. On the other hand, the public is not a collection of uniform robots. People vary and therefore framing should vary.  It is naive not to recognise that there is room for all sorts of tactical approaches in public discussion. As someone committed to the public advocacy of science and reason I used to think that Nisbet had a good argument. But he has destroyed his credibility because of the naive way he uses it.

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