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Spectral lines: Advocacy and ethics

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When recently we addressed the subject of advocacy science (or advocacy engineering), we drew attention to certain of its drawbacks. For example, an advocate is inclined, either overtly or covertly, to emphasize facts that tend to support his cause. Conversely, he may be expected to overlook or even suppress those facts that tend to undermine his cause. Advocacy clearly fosters polarization, and may easily lead to the use of an ¿adversary¿ process, which itself can be helpful. But the predominant danger may be that, while science and engineering thrive on the disclosure of new facts, advocacy science and engineering may even discourage the dissemination of old facts.

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Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 5 )