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GDB2 Media|ECS

Hands on or hands off?
Convener: Caspar Hewett  | Co-Conveners: Jonathan Dick , Cristina García Fernández , Paul Quinn , Mark Wilkinson 
Mon, 09 Apr, 10:30–12:00

In recent years there has been a growing distrust of experts in the public imagination which has been expressed in numerous debates from Brexit to the US presidential election. This gives rise to serious questions about the role of scientists in policy making and the political sphere. As geoscientists, our disciplines can have a real impact on the way humanity organises itself, so what should our role in that be? There are serious tensions here between the desire for our knowledge to have real impact and make a difference, the need for scientific detachment and objectivity, and respect for broader perspectives and for democracy itself.

The key questions for this debate are:
· Should geoscientists restrict themselves to knowledge generation and stay out of the policy world?
· Or should we be getting involved and making change happen?
· Should our voices as experts be heard louder than others?
· Or does evidence-based policy undermine democracy?
· Should we be hands on or keep our hands off

Public information: This Great Debate will address these questions and critically examine the controversies surrounding expertise and policy.

You can tweet about the debate using #tgd18 and #egu18

* Elena López Gunn, ICATALYST/University of Madrid
* Minni Jain, The Flow Partnership
* Gemma Carr, Centre for Water Resource Systems, Vienna University of Technology

Chair: Dr Caspar Hewett

See for further details