Scientists have been advised to conduct their debates according to the science , not the personalities, in a letter sent by the Association of Scientists.
The letter to members reminded them of the Royal Society’s Code of Professional Standards and Ethics that say members must try to obtain and present facts and interpretations in an objective and open manner.
Your editor could find no mention of the letter on the association’s website this morning (although the search was a quick one).
According to a Radio New Zealand report (HERE) the reminder of the rules followed Jacqueline Rowarth from the Environmental Protection Agency and soil scientist Doug Edmeades taking part in a radio discussion about whether prominent freshwater ecologist Mike Joy should be labelled an extremist.
RNZ said Dr Rowarth and Dr Edmeades appeared on Jamie Mackay’s radio show The Country last month as part of a panel discussion entitled: ‘Is Dr Mike Joy an extremist or does he have a point?‘
It also mentioned Dr Edmeades’ opinion piece titled ‘Is Mike Joy a biased scientist?‘
According to RNZ, the president of the Association of Scientists, Craig Stevens said there had been a lot of concern from members about scientists being attacked and not the science.
“In this particular area we’re talking about freshwater and land use.
“It’s an issue that’s incredibly important for New Zealand from a number of perspectives.
“We were concerned that some of this was proceeding in the media in a way that was not helpful for getting the facts across.”
The RNZ report includes comments on the association’s letter from Dr Joy and Dr Edmeades.
Jacqueline Rowarth declined to comment.