If I would have been a scientist and discovered in a preliminary testing that chemical residues of a commonly used insecticide interfere with the reproductive cycle of the fish that eat bugs killed by the insecticide, I would have taken several actions. I would have continued with research to get more quantitative and qualitative data about the issue, because I would have needed evidence to support initial findings. I would have informed scientists interested in my findings through peer-reviewed sources and personal communication. I would have contacted other scientists, environment protection agencies and relevant NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) to gather more data to critically scrutinize my research (Wilsdon at el, 2013).
An exampl, in our case, deals with environmental problem. Decades ago, it was understood that global society faces new risks and has to pay a close attention to effects the humanity has on the nature (Catton & Dunlap, 1980). Thus, when creating a new environment related policies, modern society have to seriously consider the long-term effect of these policies on the environment. New policies have to aim at sustainable development, as a new model of a global societal development. Impact of human society on the environment and impact of environment on society is crucial (Baerlocher at el, 2010). Global intervention into nature and its resources poses global implications. This is the reason Pielke’s (2007) typology of scientists’ behavior in policy making becomes so relevant. Policies for protecting the environment and wildlife are developed by people whose motives and actions could be biased by incompetence, prospects of personal gain, ethical and social issues. Ideally, scientists should choose and adopt the model of behavior that facilitates policies that benefit humanity as a whole and not just particular, country, corporation or a group of individuals.
According to Roger Pielke (2007), scientists can act in four different ways in regards to their findings and related policy making. As a pure scientist, I would take the approach on no participation in policy making processes. I would focus solely on research and would not get involved in debates over policies. The scientific truth only would interest me. If I would act as a science arbiter, I would make sure that agencies involved in policy making operate with accurate data. I would apprise policy makers of my discoveries and make sure that they use unbiased sources. My focus would be on conducting credible, comprehensive, evidence based research and making sure it is taken into consideration. Role of the issue advocate means that I already know what policy I want and do all I can to implement this policy. In this case, my scientific discoveries are a tool for achieving result, and I am personally interested in the outcome of policy making process. Issue advocates’ position can pose a threat if they serve individual interests rather than community and environment interests.
Last role is the honest broker. It is a combination of a science arbiter and issue advocate, in my understanding, but has its distinctive characteristic. If I would choose a role of an honest broker, I would operate with relevant data like a science arbiter and be involved in a decision-making process like an issue advocate. Importantly, I would respectfully consider all sides of an argument, be aware of consequences of the policy under dispute, and not state any personal interests in the policy issue. The role of an honest broker appeals to me the most because he seeks good results of all and not personal gain or interest (Adler, 2007). In his book, Pilke (2007) claimed that modern scientific society needs more honest brokers, since, in his opinion, this category of scientists benefits both policies and humanity the most.