Good independent reporting on contested issues like climate change is important for more than the obvious reasons. Research has shown that it is not so much a lack of knowledge (deficit model) that make people (and hence politicians) wary about climate change and its possible consequences. More likely it has to do with the fact that people feel left out of decisions based on science that will have enormous consequences for their way of life and that of their children and grandchildren.
Science journalists play an important role in making good this democratic deficit by providing people and policy makers with the information to call science and technology to account.
Involving people and policy makers in the scientific process with all its pitfalls and misconceptions, but also with all its unexpected results and insights is also a good medicine against alternative ‘facts’ and prejudices.
Joost Van Kasteren
Joost van Kasteren (1950) studied molecular science and communication at Wageningen Agricultural University and works as a freelance science writer for Dutch national newspapers and national and international popular science magazines and contributed chapters to books about ecomodernism, globalization and environmental policies, sustainable housing, bioprocess technology and the EU Common Agricultural Policy. He wrote books on technology for sustainable development and the history of drinking water supply. He is also chief editor of Vork (Fork), a quarterly magazine on agriculture and food.
A voice from the Triangulation through Science Communication project.