In this elections season, I think that it can be seen that this conclusion works well without the specificity to science:"The well-being of a democratic society requires protecting the science communication environment from toxic meanings."
What is the best sort of response after toxic meanings have been deliberately applied? What happens for example, if some hostile entity looks at your multi-volume health plan and figures out that the cultural cognitively connecting hit phrase is "death panels"?
It does help to be proactive. For example in Nanotechnology people such as +Dietram Scheufele
and +Andrew Revkin
have put considerable thought into nanotechnology risk communication issues.
Another item current to this election season is Proposition 37, the GMO labeling bill. IMHO, GMO here does not mean "genetically modified organisms", it means something more like "everything some hate about Monsanto and related entities". I personally contend that the appropriate position is to argue that labeling of "may contain GMO's" is an insignificant level of disclosure and we ought to have even greater transparency: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100946817944952712900/posts/Dn932k8h3EV
I believe that it is a huge mistake in a democracy to come out on the side opposing public access to information. But the position of the AAAS is that this is not a legitimate focus for regulation since no health issue is specifically at risk: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2012/media/AAAS_GM_statement.pdf
. Many plant geneticists see a conspiracy at work by the forces of anti-science. And the campaign itself is being funded by not only the principles (like Monsanto) but also companies which I would deem as being not well known for a strong interest in public health and nutrition (such as Pepsico). And on the other hand, the proponents of this measure include not only organic growers but also such entities as Dr. Bronners Magic Soaps (and All-One-God-Faith) Inc.
How long is the line for new WSMD? JA! episodes? This one would be a sequel, is the campaign changing the middle?