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Scientists fight for credibility amid climate change slurs

RADIO AUSTRALIA - PACIFIC BEAT Updated June 20, 2011 08:05:25

In an unprecedented move, a group of Australia's top scientists has united in a new campaign to defend their credibility.

Today more than 2 hundred will converge on Canberra to call on politicians to help stop the misinformation in the climate debate.

Their concern is that the hysteria has escalated and is spilling over into attacks on all major research and the credible work that scientists do.


Presenter:Sarah Clarke
Speaker:Professor Ian Chubb, Australia's chief scientist

Every year a group of the nation's top scientists converge on parliament house in Canberra to meet the politicians.

But this year they've got more reason to visit the nation's capital - to launch a campaign called "respect the science".

Anna Maria Arabia is the CEO of the nation's peak scientific body known as FASTS ... the federation of Australian science and technological societies.

"it's aimed at looking at the misinformation campaign that's being run against the scientific evidence based largely coming from the climate change debate and seeing how that is undermining the nation building work of our scientists".

Anna Maria Arabia says the hysteria in the climate debate has gone too far and is now spilling over into attacks on all research.

Today two hundred scientists will be asking for more respect in their line of duty.

"So it's really asking the public to respect the science because there's a very robust methodology behind the scientific information we use to make decisions every day".

As for who's spreading the misinformation...

"i think the misinformation campaign is largely being run by those who reject the climate science, the climate denialists it's unfortunate because it's aimed at creating confusion and it really places a question over the vailidity of the scientific process".

Explaining that proces is central to this campaign.

Scientists hope by detailing how the process works, the public will better understand the intense scrutiny the science must undergo in the peer review process, before major decisions can be made.

Professor Ian Chubb is Australia's chief scientist.

"It is about ensuring that people understand that proper science, properly conducted, properly reviewed and properly debated and the consquences of that debate may change the way we think or they may confirm what we think but there's a process that underpins what we do and I think it's too easy for people to pick one little bit of this or that and constantly ram it home because there are a lot of people in the world Sarah who know that you dont have to be bright, you just have to sew doubt".

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