Settled enough: Climate science, skepticism and prudence

| May 31, 2021 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Article - Recent

Date of Publication: May 24

Year of Publication: 2021

Publication City: Washington, DC

Publisher: The Hill

Author(s): John P. Holdren

Categories: ,

Science is an edifice that is never finished. It is expanded, remodeled, and strengthened continually by the efforts of a global community of scientists numbering in the many millions.

New gaps and uncertainties become evident even as old ones are filled and narrowed. And, sometimes, long-established understandings are overturned by unexpected new discoveries. Einstein’s relativity and Wegener’s continental drift are famous examples.

Skepticism about scientific claims — challenging them, testing them, testing them again when better tools become available — is a feature of the scientific process, not a bug. Accordingly, science should never be said to be completely “settled.”

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