Well, it’s Wednesday, and so far I’ve done two posts–and gotten more than 170 comments–in the new “framing science” dialogue that I’ve sought to begin here. Let’s briefly recap, so that I can then explain how I’ll be moving forward. Meanwhile, Sheril wants to start weighing in, so expect her to do that later today.
First, I began with my “framer culpa“: Clearly, I have not managed to get these ideas across to many ScienceBlogs folks in a way that resonates. Rather, the subject has become polarized, and generated far more heat than light. I am in part to blame. Mistakes have been made–ironic communication mistakes. I’m now hoping to fix those.
My original plan for doing so was to take you through a narrative of how this matter got so nasty over the course of a year–which I still plan to do. At the end of that process, I hope to have explored the dynamics and even the sociology of the divide between, say, a PZ Myers and a Matthew Nisbet–one, a funny and prolific blogger, the other, a sometimes-too-serious academic who, I think, has a bit of a tin ear for the blogosphere.
I still plan on doing that; but in the meantime, yesterday we did a really helpful exercise (to me) in which I laid out the framing science “premises”–prior to their application to any specific issue–and then readers pointed out which premises they rejected. This was very illuminating to me. So I now also need to do a post or series of posts defending some of the premises (or agreeing to disagree about them).
Finally, I ultimately wanted to get to some remarks about Expelled and the importance of civility on ScienceBlogs–but I’m still pretty far away from achieving that. So, in short, we have a long way to go, and there’s no way my original plans will be achieved within the week.
Nevertheless, I think progress has already been made, and there will be more. So please sit tight and enjoy the ride–and bear with me, as sometimes these posts take a long time to write. Nevertheless, we will end up, I think, at a better, calmer place than before–a common ground. But it could take a while to get there.
In the meantime, I am going to let Sheril weigh in to defend one of my premises for me–premise six, I believe. She speaks out of her personal experience working on Capitol Hill, so I really think her perspective on the matter is invaluable. I hope you enjoy.