A recent controversy over claims about climate science by Post op-ed columnist George F. Will raises a critical question: Can we ever know, on any contentious or politicized topic, how to recognize the real conclusions of science and how to distinguish them from scientific-sounding spin or misinformation?Yes. That is indeed the question.
Readers and commentators must learn to share some practices with scientists -- following up on sources, taking scientific knowledge seriously rather than cherry-picking misleading bits of information, and applying critical thinking to the weighing of evidence. That, in the end, is all that good science really is. It's also what good journalism and commentary alike must strive to be -- now more than ever.Yes again! That is pretty much the only answer I've ever been able to come up with.
Kudos and thanks to Chris for getting this in the Post!
PS - Already over 100 comments! Some of the naysayer comments are amusing, if you are used to this sort of thing.
PPS - Adam Siegel has some interesting meta-comments on the DKos site (he remains critical of the Post) and a huge plethora of links on the whole business.