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ENV222H1 Lecture Notes - Environment And Climate Change Canada, Nimby

School of Environment
Course Code
Mairi Mac Donald

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Prof. MacDonald
The Current Role of Science
EXAM - FRIDAY APRIL 29, 2011 9-11 AM
A moratorium was placed on the construction of wind power due to activist efforts
February 11 article - The Star and Globe and Mail
role of science
cynical view: the Ontario government is using science as an excuse not to move ahead
Two themes for today
scientists as actors play an essential role in that the empirical method is now by far the most
legitimate type of knowledge - it has become firmly established; it is the dominant form
scientists play a role b/c it is impossible to get environmental approval w/out scientific
wind power:
they need to make the argument that there are adverse health effects that are related to wind
they are in a NIMBY position that must be backed up by scientific proof
science has limitations of norms and ethics, there are other implications
we have scientists as individuals that have started to advocate for environmental change
they lose legitimacy in the eyes of other scientists as they partake in political debate, thus
they seem to have lost their objectivity
scientist collectives are still prevalent; they as a whole advocate for change (nuclear
weapons from physicists)
scientists are speaking publicly but they are not the dominant voice; what they need is the
environmentalists to take the technical scientific language to broadcast and put it into the
public debate
need environmentalists to project the message and environmentalists need the science
grounding to give legitimacy to their claims
where scientists weigh the most significant role: getting the issues into the public agenda
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