Education, or Propaganda?

Australian biologist Jennifer Marohasy draws attention to a flyer announcing a training session on climate change, put on by the UK Meteorology Bureau. According to the flyer, one of the objectives of the seminar is to equip participants “to dispel skepticism about climate change in your organization and ensure your colleagues’ engagement.”

Dr. Marohasy notes a very unscientific motive at work here.

I find it extraordinary that an institution that purports to be about science, a bureau of meteorology, would seek to “dispel sceptism”.

Science is the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation. Science is about inquiry and is best undertaken by those who are inquisitive, prepared to question, to doubt, to ruthlessly follow the evidence.

That the UK Meteorology Bureau, a place of science, is concerned with “dispelling sceptism” is a worrying sign. Indeed without scepticism, can education be more than propaganda?

Indeed.

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