PHD candidate failed to disclose activist connection in letter attacking science film
Stephan Neidenbach

Well, I haven’t seen the movie either. So I can’t comment on that. I can comment on the following. We depend on public experts to help us interpret complex technical issues. Almost every aspect of this flurry of statements and counter statements was about association. They’re with Monsanto or PAN or whoever. Now I know everything important. Now we can assume that none of these people have any integrity, independent judgment, or factual foundation for their perspectives. And we can assume that none see more than one side.

Why is there no market for balanced information? GM crops may have some benefits and they may have some costs. The cost-benefit analysis must vary by situation. A subsistence farmer in Asia will see golden rice (A vitamin enriched GM crop) differently than a consumer in the US because they face different circumstances.

There are times and ways for scientists to advocate. Advocacy based on guilt by association and an assertion that data is falsifiable simply by association is not that. Quit picking sides! Advocate for understanding! Advocate for costs and benefits! Be sensitive to gains and who pays!

I was trained as a scientist in plant sciences. This issue is not black and white — and won’t be resolved except in the gray zone. Balance is not the opposite perspective. It is both/many perspectives.

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