Roger Pielke Jr. had this interesting post about a recent dust-up between an individual (or more?) at Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and a researcher (or more?) at Montana State University.
A couple of points from me..
1) I really like the PLOS publication -free to the world- with open comments. I believe that all publications based on government funded research should be free.
2) It’s hard to have good policies, fully illuminated by open discussion, when people have bad relationships.
3) If you are a researcher studying something that resource managers do, it would generally (for those of you who don’t have bad relationships with managers) be a courtesy to give them a heads up before you publish something that questions what they are doing, and, of course,
4) There is a thought in the science policy literature that more science doesn’t really solve “hot” values disputes. In Pielke’s “Honest Broker” book, he calls this “abortion politics.” See this review of his book for a summary. But Roger isn’t the only researcher to make this observation.