Roger Pielke gave a wide-ranging talk a couple of days ago at a meeting in Lyon, on “Scientific Authority and Political Myth”. His 72 slides are all available here. He also gave an overview of the talk on twitter, where he said that the question he is considering is “what should we (the highly educated) be doing in this political moment?” In his tweet sequence he focuses on the highly educated elite, who he describes as “rich, powerful, likeminded, biased, prejudiced”, and ends up with:
“To summarize my argument (caveat lector: work in progress):
Can we highly educated play power politics and win? No way.
Democracy runs on votes, not advanced degrees.”
One of the political myths that he uses as an example is the so-called “green revolution”, see slides 17-27. He talks of the population bomb and famine scare of the 1960s, and how scientists joined in with this bandwagon, with the National Academy of Sciences declaring that there was a growing consensus about food shortages and imminent disaster.
There’s a lot of thought-provoking stuff in there. Read the whole thing, as Bish used to say.