SCIENCE AND ANTI-SCIENCE

 

Sir, - I normally read Dr William Reville, who has successfully regenerated the weekly column which I pioneered over two decades ago, with relish and appreciation. Today (September 2nd), however, I must take him to task for confusing two important issues.

The first issue, on which I am in full agreement with him, is the danger presented by the anti science camp, which is increasingly showing itself via fads and cults such as astrology and scientology. In today's article, however, he picks on unnamed "radical Green philosophers" and associates them with the anti science camp.

It would be helpful of he would name these so called "Green" philosophers, so that those of us who are scientists, and support the need for sustainable development based on a reasonable balance of economy, ecology and population, can rebut them. No one who seriously supports the Green political position questions the need for the maximum use of scientific knowledge for the holistic understanding of the complex non linear systems within which we have to find a dynamic equilibrium for survival.

Recently I attended a conference in Amsterdam at which some 500 members of the scientific and engineering community from 45 countries addressed the problems of long term sustainability of advanced civilisation on this planet. On this basically Green agenda, there was no trace to be found of the so called "Green" philosophy that Dr Reville attacks.

I have been asked by the Irish Green Party to help them develop a science policy, and I am in process of assembling a team for that purpose. It would be helpful if Dr Reville were to identify and reference the so called "Green" philosophers he has in mind, so that we can devote some time, with his support, to a critical analysis of their positions, the better to address scientifically the problem of balancing economic and ecological requirements, and embedding the solutions in political practice. Yours, etc.,

Irish Green Party Science Policy Group Convenor,

PO Box 1881,

Rathmines, Dublin 6.