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Stephen Schneider Lecture (GC43E 01) - AGU 2013 Fall Meeting

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Published on Dec 20, 2013

Stephen Schneider Lecture

What should a climate scientist advocate for? The Intersection of Expertise and Values in a Politicized World

Gavin A Schmidt, NASA/GISS, New York, NY, United States

Stephen Schneider was a science communicator who understood intimately the roles of expertise and values in raising public awareness and in discussing both problems and solutions to issues of public concern. With a new generation of climate scientists stepping up to the microphone, what are the lessons to be learned from his experiences? I will discuss the ethical issues associated with being both a scientist and a human being, the importance of honesty - to oneself and to ones audience - and how this can be effective. I will also discuss how scientists can find a role for themselves in advocating what they feel strongly about and how to avoid some common pitfalls and problems. Above all, I will present a picture of how one can try to be both a public voice and a good scientist, and how these roles, in the end, reinforce one another.

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