How to be an activist based on Good Science


questionWithin activism (particularly the GMO debate) it is common to hear one side dissing the other with claims of “bad science.”The truth is, there are “good science” studies on both sides of the GMO argument.  Meanwhile, we activists have some homework to do, so that our statements are founded in “good science” rather than mere opinion.

Here’s how to be an activist based on “good science”:

1) Get a little Geeky.  Learn how to recognize “good science”:  learn how to find peer-reviewed studies.

2) Quote good stuff. When you quote, quote “good science” rather than the words of other activists.  Quote scientific studies rather than internet articles.

3) Footnote like Fury.  Include footnotes or hyperlinks so that others can follow the breadcrumbs back to the sources of your information.

4) Consider the contents.  Don’t go just by the title alone!  Read the study, particularly the conclusion.  Make sure it really discovered what you think it discovered, before you quote it.

5) Tell the Truth:  tell the public that “the jury is still out”, that there are scientific studies on both sides of the argument.  Neither side has been conclusively proven yet.  GMOs have not been proven safe, nor effective.  But honestly, the scientific community has not yet proven GMOs to be completely evil either; they’re still working on it, so meanwhile that evilness is merely your own opinion. 

Now, whether we should go ahead full-scale as a society and bank the future of our entire food supply, the future of our environment, and the health of several generations, on an unproven technology … that is a question of wisdom.

Fear and Action

Fear.  It’s that chill that creeps up your spine.  That awful, churning hot knot, deep in the pit of your stomach.  The tremble that makes your hands feel powerless.  The freeze-up, that tempts you to inaction.  But you can’t give in to it.  You still need to DO SOMETHING.

I’m not a very public person by nature.  But right now life — my activist life, and life on the planet in general — demands that I do some very public things.  It’s terrifying.

My husband tells me fear and excitement have some of the same roots.  Maybe.  Sometimes it is excitement, disguised.  But sometimes, like a week ago Wednesday, like today, it is just plain wanting-to-crawl-in-a-hole rather than do what needs to be done. Continue reading “Fear and Action”