The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) released a new paper, The Importance of Communicating Empirically Based Science for Society. It will be available for download on Monday, September 21, on the CAST website. The webinar will take place at Noon Central on Tuesday, September 22. Registration for the free webinar can be made here. Dr. Stuart Smyth will share highlights of the publication, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with several of the paper’s authors. The Student Study Guide and Ag quickCAST(a one-page summary of the Commentary) are attached to this document.
This paper discusses the crucial factors of what we define as empirically based science (rigorous, proven methodologies, and peer reviewed results), emphasizing that whether science is conducted by a private company, a university, or a government department or agency, it is all the same, requiring that sound methodologies be followed. Scientific research protocols and methodologies have been developed, reviewed and refined, through the application of each scientific method and the peer review of experimental protocols and results, creating global standards on research methods. Empirical science is empirical science, it is not an ice cream flavor, one cannot pick and choose which aspect of the scientific method to support and which to reject. The application of empirical science is consistent, whether applied to climate change, vaccines, or GM crops and foods. Scientists have an important responsibility to design and execute experiments that are unbiased, and that directly answer a specific question.