STORIES

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Freedom of Access

“For scholars, access to the work of their peers is fundamental to the advancement of research.”

Normative Science

Too often, however, scientific information presented to the public and decision-makers is infused with hidden policy preferences. Such science is termed normative, and it is a corruption of the practice of good science.

After Fukushima

As concern about climate change has grown, nuclear energy — long a polarizing subject — has gained increasing favorability. Its low carbon footprint, reliable power supply and strong safety record convinced many critics that nuclear power should be a bigger part of our energy mix.

Science Without Borders

Just as technology links the world economy and events echo within minutes across the globe, researchers collaborate across international boundaries in ways unimaginable only a generation ago.

Life-Saving Science

At a recent meeting of the American Meteorological Society in New Orleans, I participated in a discussion of early warning systems that give the public time to take cover from tornadoes and to prepare for hurricanes. Today, we have hours or days to get out of harm’s way. Contrast that with the hurricane in Galveston, Texas, in 1900: Inability to track and warn of the storm led to the deaths of more than 8,000 people. That event still ranks as the United States’ most deadly natural disaster.

Evidence for Change

Some people take a dim view of the idea that Oregon, as well as the rest of the world, could be expected to continue warming in coming decades. They may cite March snowfall in the Willamette Valley or unpublished comparisons of mean temperatures over a given time period in specific places. Appealing as it is, such evidence hardly constitutes proof that the region is cooling and does not trump rigorous, peer-reviewed science.