There’s an interesting Opinion piece in Nature this week called “Defeating the merchants of doubt” about the agenda behind climate change “scepticism” and what scientists can do about it.
The second half is quite useful with tips for scientists who want to communicate more widely like don’t argue for the sake of it, don’t frontload findings with caveats and that outreach should be rewarded in the academic system (I’m not going to hold my breath on that last one).
But what are we supposed to do with the information on the agenda and funding behind “sceptic” community?
This kind of information is really interesting (and depressing) but what can we do with it? Does it help at all in the scientific argument or should scientists leave this stuff alone and let journalists report it?
My own instinct is that is sounds enough like a conspiracy theory (I’m not saying it is, it just sounds like one) an ad hominem argument that I don’t want to go too near it.
I’d be really interested in more views…