Ted Brown, to write me.
Brown is an emeritus chemistry professor at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and emeritus founding director at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology at Illinois. He is also the author of “Making Truth: Metaphors in Science,” which presents a complex vision of science as a deeply human endeavor largely governed by metaphorical reasoning (C&EN, July 14, 2003, page 63).
Brown now has a blog called Scienceoracle, and he’s been writing recently on expert versus moral authority. He also has a book, “Imperfect Oracle,” coming out soon on this subject. Anyway, the real world example he uses to examine the clash between different sorts of authority is the debate over climate change. Brown has some interesting thoughts on how and why people reject clear scientific consensus when it conflicts with their belief systems. It’s worth checking him out.
As readers might have noticed from my July 27 posting and the comments it generated, an editorial I wrote on climate change/global warming has been greeted with both scorn and appreciation. The response prompted an old friend,