The Public Values Failures of Climate Science in the US

Minerva 49 (1):47-70 (2011)

Abstract
This paper examines the broad social purpose of US climate science, which has benefitted from a public investment of more than $30 billion over the last 20 years. A public values analysis identifies five core public values that underpin the interagency program. Drawing from interviews, meeting observations, and document analysis, I examine the decision processes and institutional structures that lead to the implementation of climate science policy, and identify a variety of public values failures accommodated by this system. In contrast to other cases which find market values frameworks (the profit as progress assumption) at the root of public values failures, this case shows how science values ( knowledge as progress ) may serve as an inadequate or inappropriate basis for achieving broader public values. For both institutions and individual decision makers, the logic linking science to societal benefit is generally incomplete, incoherent, and tends to conflate intrinsic and instrumental values. I argue that to be successful with respect to its motivating public values, the US climate science enterprise must avoid the assumption that any advance in knowledge is inherently good, and offer a clearer account of the kinds of research and knowledge advance likely to generate desirable social outcomes
Keywords Public values  Climate science  Science policy  Global change  Research policy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11024-011-9164-4
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,665
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Republic of Science.Michael Polanyi - 1962 - Minerva 1 (1):54-73.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Public and Traditional Journalism: A Shift in Values?M. David Arant & Philip Meyer - 1998 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 13 (4):205 – 218.
Economic Values in the Configuration of Science.Wenceslao J. González - 2008 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 96 (1):85-112.
Creating Public Values: Schools as Moral Habitats.Jānis OzoliF - 2010 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (4):410-423.
Sincerity and Reconciliation in Public Reason.Richard M. Buck - 2001 - Social Philosophy Today 17:21-35.
The Value of Cognitive Values.Heather Douglas - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):796-806.
Science, Values and the Human Dimensions.Ladislav Tondl - 2001 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 32 (2):307-327.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-03-05

Total views
76 ( #100,911 of 2,242,820 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #625,882 of 2,242,820 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature