ABSTRACT

Evelyn Fox Keller, in a recent article, asked, “What Are Climate Scientists to Do?” (2011). Her concern is about the fact that people are skeptical about claims that climate scientists present as authoritative science. She makes the standard case: that the consensus is strong, that the opponents are paid off and acting on behalf of special interests, and that policy makers and politicians should accept the science and act accordingly. The problem is that they are not doing so. The question that needs an answer is, “What should the strategy of climate scientists be in the face of reluctance to accept the results of science?” This is a problem that goes to the heart of the question of the role of expertise in a democratic society, and more precisely a liberal democratic society, one in which public discussion matters. But it raises the question from a very specifi c perspective, namely the strategic perspective of the scientist committed to a particular set of policy relevant claims, or to a policy itself.