What works for COVID-19 and climate change

Science and Technology Australia stands up for peer review

A Senate committee is taking evidence today on MP Zali Steggall’s private member’s bill to establish a climate change commission. Ms Steggall took the seat of Warringah from Tony Abbott at the last federal election.

Her bills have attracted extraordinary interest, with 636 submissions, most from private citizens, to the Senate inquiry. But there’s a bit in the substantive bill that attracted peak-body, Science and Technology Australia, the requirement that the act be applied, “with regard to the best available academic peer reviewed research.”

And quite right too, STA suggests.

“Climate change is, at its core, a challenge outlined in facts, science and evidence. As a comparative example, Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic relied on the best available medical and scientific advice to inform the best possible policy decisions. …

The approach that has protected Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be applied to climate change. The best available evidence is not only integral in climate change modelling, but in mitigating the effects of climate change already being felt.”

Once that would have gone without saying but now not always now. Last year coalition senators questioned the culture of peer-review in scientific research in a Senate inquiry into water quality around the Great Barrier Reef, (CMM October 30 2020 and September 16 2019).