Advocacy is a condition not of the behavior of individual scientists, but of the political and institutional context for science. Advocacy in science becomes an issue when there is both uncertainty about facts and disagreement about values. Under such circumstances, scientists become different not because they have changed, but because the context in which they operate has changed.
This paper was prepared by Daniel Sarewitz on October 17, 2011 as background material for an event convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and does not necessarily reflect the views of AAAS, its Council, Board of Directors, officers, or members. AAAS is not responsible for the accuracy of this material. AAAS has made this material available as a public service, but this does not constitute endorsement by the association.