AGENDA-DRIVEN SCIENCE: RECOGNIZING AND AVOIDING THE PITFALLS.
R. J. Gutierrez; Unviersity of Wisconsin; 539 Old Roundhouse Rd, McKinleyville, CA, 95519; (612) 916-1987; gutie012@umn.edu; Gavin M. Jones, M. Zachariah Peery
We believe science advocacy is essential to foster science-based wildlife conservation and management. However, the boundary between science advocacy, where one attempts to interpret scientific research to facilitate its correct use in policy making and management applications, and advocacy science, where one allows a conservation objective to dictate the structure of research such that one derives a result favorable to that objective, is often blurred. Therefore, much controversy exists in practice and in the literature about the proper role of advocacy by scientists working in conservation and wildlife management. We discuss an extreme form of advocacy that we label agenda-driven science. We define agenda-driven science as intentionally engaging in activities outside of professional norms to promote desired outcomes, either as part of the production or dissemination of science. These activities are focused on either achieving a desired outcome or obfuscating existing information rather than on elucidating information. As such it has potential to undermine the credibility of science and scientists. We present activities that, when considered collectively, might indicate agenda-driven science. We urge all scientists and wildlife managers to be mindful of agenda-driven science as it may exacerbate the polarized political and social views of science developing in the Anthropocene.
Wildlife Professionals: Agency Coordination & Collaboration