Decision making must be improved

Fallacies and cognitive biases currently dominate opinions and public policy making

The current process of making public policy (such as how to stop climate change) is failing.

Current methods give different answers to the same question e.g. how much investment should be put into cycling. Which policy is correct is hardly ever discussed by those in positions of power.

Scientific methods have evolved to overcome biases and give correct answers to complex questions

The essence of scientific methods is that they give correct answers to questions that we feel have correct answers. We are confident that they work because (a) they give consistent answers, and (b) they make accurate predictions.

Some key points of scientific methods are

Scientific methods are needed in policy making in climate change and other major problems

The use is currently common within the medical and associated professions, but needs to be extended.

It seems clear that applying scientific methods to decision making more extensively would improve them enormously.

Decision making should be science-based, not just evidence-based

There has been a move to advocate evidence-based decision making, but unscrupulous politicians can just select a piece of evidence that fits with what they have decided to do, and claim that their decision is evidence-based.

The longer term goal should be to make all policy making science-based

If the process is fixed, the correct decisions will be made.

The immediate goal should be to make campaigning science-based

There is a need for

Progress towards making climate policies science-based

Organisations taking a science-based approach are

References

[1]Scientists for Global Responsibility Science Oath for the Climate https://www.sgr.org.uk/projects/science-oath-climate-text-and-signing



First published: 16 Jan 2022
Last updated: 9 Apr 2022