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In defence of science and our Treaty – Margreet Vissers

Posted in Reflections On Science on March 28th, 2018.

University of Otago’s Associate Dean (research) Professor Margreet Vissers has penned a heartfelt response to a column criticising inclusion of Treaty of Waitangi principles in academic research.

An excerpt (read in full):

As a research scientist, I reject the notion that we (Western Science) have all the answers. Our current model of the scientific method, used worldwide, is strongly based in the philosophy of science, developed across millennia and on many continents by men and women in the Sciences and Arts.

The state of our current knowledge has likewise been contributed by all peoples, and to be blind to the input of others is unhelpful for the advancement of science. To be inclusive does not preclude rigour or the impartial nature of scientific research. Science is inherently open-minded: all possibilities deserve to be considered and failure to act in this way results in a narrow-minded approach and potentially biased results.

I am not afraid that my academic research will be corrupted by considering the perspective of others, and I greatly value the scholarship and deep knowledge base of our Arts and Humanities colleagues.

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