In our society climate change has impacted us beyond belief. Whenever the climate changes, there is no doubt in our minds that it has to do with global warming. Society always talks about pollution and the changes one needs to make. Although society themselves never truly participates in deciding what to do. Society allows experts to handle the situation to the best of their abilities. Society listens to “experts” all the time, without seconding guessing if what they are telling us is the truth, or if society should contribute to what experts believe. Why shouldn’t people be skeptical about climate change and experts opinion on the matter? Kleinman says that public participation is really important to decide what the problem is, what to do about it, and how to do it. When reading Climate science and science literacy: the stranger divergence by Bill Chameides and Guest Editorial: It’s Time To e-Volve: Taking Responsibility for Science Communication in a Digital Age by Christie Wilcox both articles agree with Kleinman’s theory.
People trust experts because they believe that what experts say is better then what they have to say or think. Once someone hears from an “expert” they believe that their word is more meaningful then they’re own, or someone else’s that is not an expert. Climate change has been effecting our environment for the pass couple years. People listen to experts because they tend to have all the answers. Experts are always studying the environment and it is their job to be aware of the environment and the effects it has from what humans do. Humans become skeptical when someone who is not an expert tries to tell them something. One can think about Al Gore he is an environmental activist who speaks out about what he believes in, many people are skeptical about what he says. People tend to listen to experts because they have all the answers for our questions. According to Kleinman publics should have input in whenever they are affected. When looking at the article by Bill Chameides one can see that his argument agrees with Kleinman’s theory that experts and public should work together. Two main reasons for climate change skeptics are due to scientific illiteracy and assimilation bias. In order to better communicate with the public scientists must use more emotionally persuasive arguments.
Should publics just listen to experts and not participate any further or should publics participate and assist in decision-making? Should experts try and communicate more clearly with publics so they understand? According to Kleinman publics should not just allow experts to make the final decision, publics should participate and assist experts in decision marking, especially if it will affect them. Although it is hard to make experts and publics understand each other if no effort is going into allowing publics to understand experts terminology. According to the article done by Christie Wilcox science communication has become nothing more then a nightmare for publics (Wilcox 85-87). “The problem is, these publications only communicate science to other scientists” (Wilcox 85-87). It is hard to try and make decisions that will better one if publics are unable to understand what is going on in the first place. “The barriers that keep the people we want to become more scientifically literate from understanding what we do because they do not know the terminology” (Wilcox 85-87).These just forces publics to let experts make choices for themselves rather than allowing everyone to be part of a decision that will in turn affect everyone.
Publics should have a reaction to what is going on, rather then allowing experts to do whatever they want, and publish information that makes no sense to anymore but other scientists. “That means it is the scientists who are ultimately to blame when their research isn’t communicated well” (Wilcox 85-87).As Kleinman’s theory clearly says that public participation is essential to framing legitimate deliberation, and can improve both technical and political decision-making. Knowledge in general is always helpful for people towards climate change. Without the basic knowledge of what is going on, society is unable to offer their contribution. Although when publics know what is going on and have an opinion or viewpoint of what should be done, then they should be able to offer their opinion towards the matter at hand. Kleinmann believes that publics have things to contribute and therefore should be listened too. If the publics were able to understand more of the language that scientists used based around climate change, and were able to have a say in the matter of what experts were talking about then they would be able to offer their views and ideas towards working with experts to help make a change towards the world. “Hamilton found that the probability of a response that human activities are driving climate change increases with Democrats’ educational background: There is a more than 50 percent probability that a high-school-educated (or less) Democrat will respond positively to the climate change/human activities question, and that probability increases to more than 70 percent for a college-educated Democrat and above 80 percent for a Dem with post-graduate education” (Chameides). This shows that the more knowledge and education that one person may have, allows them to have more knowledge on climate change. As one may see Kleinman’s theory is proven here, that experts have limits or partiality knowledge of something, whereas publics can improve decision-making because they have learnt different things and are able to proven a different viewpoint. Publics have barriers to participation that should be closed, because publics should be able to have an input especially when they are being directly affected. Knowledge is not only through education, knowledge can also be gained through social media. Social media connects people; it does not just provide information. “Many scientists still hold the unflappable belief that increasing science literacy is the answer: that our job is simply to provide the facts, and that people will make better decisions if they are given the correct information” (Wilcox 85-87).“By connecting scientists with the rest of the world, social media is the most powerful tool available for us to shift this paradigm” (Wilcox 85-87). Better communication allows publics and experts to be on the same page rather then being on different pages. Kleinman believes that publics are able to assist experts and make a contribution. When reading the article by Wilcox one can see that Kleinman’s theory is very much true. “Participation in new media can also improve connection and collaboration on an unprecedented scale” (Wilcox 85-87). Further more interactions online can evolve collaborations, and allow new ideas to form, things that people never thought of before, allowing something new to come into play.
As one can see both articles speak about how publics and experts should come together and work as one to help our society make better decisions. Participation between publics and experts is really important in deciding what should come next in our society with the collaboration of both people. It is essential that publics also have a say in what happens because in turn their opinions and participation can improve both technical and political decision-making. Kleinman’s theory is proven in both these articles, that the public have many things to contribute and therefore experts should listen to them, because publics are able to make decisions and assist in choices that will better help our society move forward in life.
The name of the individual who wrote this article has been omitted to sustain what little dignity he/she has.