Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Researchers, Non-Experts, and Lawyers in Italy

As students of science communication, we focus on the relationship between researchers and non-scientists.  We've yet to discuss how that relationship changes when lawyers and the justice system get involved, but that situation is occurring right now in Italy.  The Opinion article in the Australian Broadcasting Company's Science section was the first I've heard of this story.  What are your thoughts on the legal implications of scientific communication?

1 comment:

  1. Nature has an article on the upcoming trial from September, here:

    But, also, just recently, a wiretap discussed here ( suggests that the Civil Protection had already decided what to say, and brought out the scientists only as "window dressing" to give an air of legitimacy to the CP's decision.

    This kind of scenario touches upon our earlier class discussions of the roles of authority and oversight; surely scientists shouldn't be the sole decision makers in setting policy, but it's also dangerous when science is misappropriated or misrepresented to bolster a policy decision that has already been made independently of the science.