When Research Becomes Controversial – Dev Niyogi

One of my best science events in my mind occured when I was watchning the movie Jurassic Park. I don't know if you guys see that – the first one. There was that physicist putting that drop of water on his hand and showing that one stream went this way and had he dropped a little differently it would have gone the other way. I don't know if you remember that particular scene. But that to me was chaos and reality all at the same time. We try showing that. That small things could have big amplifications. But at the same time we understand how it is. I think when we are trying to say that we know some things and we don't know some things just means that we know we don't know some things. That is also knowledge. That is where we can start putting all this risks together. It all boils down to this fact, how much risk are you willing to take? If you're completely risk adverse then you need something with a different degree of confidence as against someone who just wants to live a life which is out there.

So conveying this aspect of what we have in terms of a knowledge base and asserting certain things we just certainly know for a fact. Carbon dioxide levels are changing. Data can't argue on that. One could say we could have discussions on what is causing that change. But that's a whole different topic. One could again have issues on the processes that are causing the change. But if change is happening and if it is going to affect you, it's up to whether you're gong to react to it or not. And that kind of aspect, finding some common grounds always helps us in communicating that aspect. Then once we have the comon ground, I think it has been helpful to say we don't know this. Once we know this perhaps we can take a more definite way of going A or B. But I think just for aspect even if we do not know. Knowing that we do not know is knowledge. And we can build off that. That is something we try to have all the time in what we do.

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