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The Politics of Researching Carbon Trading in Australia

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  • Clive L. Spash

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Abstract

This paper explores the conflicts of interest present in science policy and how claims being made for evidence based science can be used to suppress critical social science research. The specific case presented concerns the attempts to ban and censor my work criticising the economics of carbon emissions trading while I was working for the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia. The role of management and the Science Minister are documented through their own public statements. The case raises general issues about the role of epistemic communities in the production of knowledge, the potential for manipulation of information under the guise of quality control and the problems created by claiming a fact-value dichotomy in the science-policy interface. The implications go well beyond just climate change research and challenge how public policy is being formulated in modern industrial societies where scientific knowledge and corporate interests are closely intertwined. (author's abstract)
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Suggested Citation

  • Clive L. Spash, 2014. "The Politics of Researching Carbon Trading in Australia," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2014_03, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwsre:sre-disc-2014_03
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    File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/sre-disc/sre-disc-2014_03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brigitte Nerlich, 2010. "'Climategate': Paradoxical Metaphors and Political Paralysis," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 19(4), pages 419-422, November.
    2. Clive L. Spash, 2011. "Terrible Economics, Ecosystems and Banking," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(2), pages 141-145, May.
    3. Rosemary Robins, 2012. "The Controversy over GM Canola in Australia as an Ontological Politics," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(2), pages 185-208, May.
    4. Lo, Alex Y. & Spash, Clive L., 2012. "How Green is your scheme? Greenhouse gas control the Australian way," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 150-153.
    5. Clive L. Spash, 2010. "Censoring Science in Research Officially," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 19(2), pages 141-146, May.
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