Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims

http://www.nature.com/polopoly_fs/1.14183!/menu/main/topColumns/topLeftColumn/pdf/503335a.pdf

“Calls for the closer integration of science in political decision-making have been commonplace for decades. However, there are serious problems in the application of science to policy …

To this end, we suggest 20 concepts that should be part of the education of civil servants, politicians, policy advisers and journalists — and anyone else who may have to interact with science or scientists. Politicians with a healthy scepticism of scientific advocates might simply prefer to arm themselves with this critical set of knowledge.

We are not so naive as to believe that improved policy decisions will automatically follow. We are fully aware that scientific judgement itself is value-laden, and that bias and context are integral to how data are collected and interpreted. What we offer is a simple list of ideas that could help decision-makers to parse how evidence can contribute to a decision, and potentially to avoid undue influence by those with vested interests.”

Bill David Nature

Advertisements