By: Dr. Susan Jasko
As a child of the 70’s, the lyrics of Teach Your Children Well, by Graham Nash came immediately to mind as I thought about what we wanted and needed to say about our expectations of ourselves and of others here on this blog. Nash wrote, “You, who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by…”. This resonates in several key ways for us as we discussed our aims and hopes for launching this communication effort. We vary in background and education, but share an interest in weather and climate matters, including the communication of scientific information to others. That is, to be more precise, we share a concern for the ethical, efficacious, and timely communication of such information.
Nash’s call for “ a code to live by” implicates ethics in the form of principles and guidelines. So, the ethics of communication is a topic and challenge we expect to visit here on a semi-regular basis. Without a doubt, many members of the weather enterprise have been talking and thinking about this and examining it in both principle and practice. We hope to add to this vital conversation.
Also, for more than twenty-five years, folks have referred to the Internet and digital modes of communication as “the information superhighway”. And although many would argue that rather than a superhighway, digital media comprise a network of intersecting pathways populated with “roadside stands”, it seems clear now from our 21st century vantage point that we have been on a significant journey traveling this digital pathway.
Around the world, people have had to imagine and call into being rules for the use of this roadway – a code to go by. Dead ends, differing viewpoints, confounding by the rapidity of technological change, and changing ideas about freedom, privacy, and access have all been (and in most respects, continue to be) challenges in establishing the rules to go by.
So, here is our take on what principles of discourse and interaction will guide the conversations we hope to generate on these pages.
- Civility will be the hallmark of all of our postings. Even if criticism is to be leveled by a contributor, it will be done in such a way as to honor the essential humanity of others
- Humor may be used, in addition to irony, exasperation, frustration, and alarm. But ad hominem attacks, character slurs, unfounded claims and the like will not be used.
- We will strive to use our adult vocabularies. We will practice restraint in the use of profanity or other language that can reasonably be understood as offensive just for the sake of demeaning groups or individuals.
- We will welcome a wide range of divergent opinions and voices. But we will expect those voices to honor this code even as they may strongly, clearly, powerfully disagree with a posting.
- We reserve the right remove any posting that attacks, slurs, or defames, or in any other way expresses hatred toward any person or group. Instead, we invite you to share this journey and honor this code.