Truth(?) in testimony and convincing policy makers

Iowa Climate Science Education

by Judith Curry

Some reflections, stimulated by yesterday’s Congressional Hearing, on the different strategies of presenting Congressional testimony.

Yesterday’s Hearing provided an ‘interesting’ contrast in approaches to presenting testimony, when comparing my testimony with Michael Mann’s.

What are the purposes of expert testimony?

There is an interesting document entitled A Guide to Expert Testimony for Climate Scientists, funded by the US National Science Foundation.  Most of this is related to court room hearings, but some is relevant for Congressional Hearings.  Excerpts:

<begin quote>

Experts may do one or more of the following:

  • Provide the decision-maker with factual information and background to provide the decision-maker with an adequate context for the decision.
  • Apply expert knowledge to the facts of a case and render an opinion about the facts, such as whether certain conditions actually caused an effect.
  • Explain scientific principles and theories to the decision-maker.
  • Extrapolate from the actual facts…

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