Task 3: VVM Debate on the authority of science

The following videos present a recording of a debate (held on 18 September 2010 at Nieuwspoort, The Hague) on the authority of science, organized by the Dutch Society of Environmental Professionals (Vereniging van Milieuprofessionals, VVM)

First watch the recording of the statements by Robbert Dijkgraaf, Pieter Leroy, Paul Schnabel and Maarten Hajer.

  • The speakers adopted different perspectives on the changed role of science in society. Can you mention five 'drivers of change' (developments that have contributed to the changed role of science in society)?
  • Prof Leroy argues that the environmental sciences in particular have been confronted by skepticism and distrust. How can this be explained?

Now select and watch at least the following questions from the debate: first note down your own thoughts on these issues and then watch the debate.

"Kan actieve participatie van burgers bij onderzoek hun wantrouwen wegnemen?"
"Hoe kun je beter omgaan met de onzekerheid die inherent is aan de wetenschap?"
"Is het voor het IPCC wel mogelijk om wetenschappelijk onderbouwde keuzes te maken?"
"Mag of moet wetenschappelijk onderzoek tot maatschappelijke stellingname leiden?"

You will notice that these questions will return regularly in the rest of the course

Prof.Dr Robbert Dijkgraaf (UvA/KNAW) 9:45 (min:sec)

Prof.dr. Maarten Hajer (PBL) 12:56 (min:sec)

Prof. dr. Pieter Leroy (Radboud Universiteit) 13: 28 (min:sec)

Prof. dr. Paul Schnabel (SCP) 17:35 (min:sec)

VVM Debate: Discussion (ca 45 min in total)


> Task 4 Course book, Chapter 1