Thursday, October 6, 2011

Consensus and Dissent

In a recent Nature column Daniel Sarewitz discusses the limitations of the typical expert consensus report so beloved by the National Academies and other mainstream science organizations. He rightly points out that consensus is for textbooks while reasoned dissent is the heart of functioning science. The suggestion that such expert reports might follow the example of judicial practice and include both majority and various minority opinions is a refreshing one.