Don't trust the scientists (Sun) Panel

Tim Flannery, Alok Jha, Natasha Mitchell (chair) & Lee Vinsel

Are scientists the new gods? As we increasingly rely on science to solve our problems, are we stretching scientific method to mystique? If scientists are not infallible, can we trust what they tell us? And if we can’t trust scientists, can we still trust science?


Tim Flannery is one of Australia’s leading writers on climate change. An internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, Tim was named Australian of the Year in 2007. Tim has held various academic positions including Professor at the University of Adelaide, director of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum and Visiting Chair in Australian Studies at Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. A well known presenter on ABC Radio, NPR and the BBC for more than a decade, he has also written and presented several series on the Documentary Channel including The Future Eaters (1998), Wild Australasia (2003), Islands in the Sky (1992) and Bushfire (1997). His books include Here on Earth (2010) and The Weather Makers (2005).


Alok Jha is the science correspondent for ITV News in the UK. Before that, he did the same job at The Guardian for a decade, where he wrote news, features, comment and presented the award-winning Science Weekly podcast. He has also reported live from Antarctica and presented many TV and radio programmes for the BBC.


Natasha Mitchell is a multi-award winning journalist and presenter of flagship ABC Radio National programs including the daily morning show, Life Matters (2012-15), and the popular science, psychology & culture radio program, All in the Mind (2002-12). She was vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists, and a recipient of the MIT Knight Fellowship. 


Co-founder of The Maintainers, a research group focused on maintenance, repair, infrastructure and mundane labor, Lee Vinsel is an Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Stevens Institute of Technology. His research focuses on science and technology policy, and his first book examines the history of government regulation of the automobile in the United States, from the birth of the internal combustion engine to the Google Car. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Le Monde, Fortune and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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