Discussion paper on interpreting science

4 April 2013

How society obtains and understands scientific and technical knowledge is critical to a well performing participatory democracy. Because science now deals with very complex matters, many of which have high values content (for example climate change, the use of genetic modification), how science is presented and used can have major impacts on decision-making. The intention of the discussion paper Interpreting science – implications for public understanding, advocacy and policy formation (PDF, 586 kb) is to help the public and policy makers judge whether a piece of science is being appropriately interpreted or whether it is being misused or overstated. Something may be presented as established science when it is not, or it may not suit advocates to accept the science as established when it is. The challenges of the twenty-first century will require society to have an understanding of the uses and limits of science and technology. This discussion paper is intended as a early step in promoting that understanding.


Related document:
Media release: Interpreting science (74 kb)


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