Minister Djgraf: Don’t blame the scientists for the nitrogen approach

PolicySep 4 ’22 13:43author: AP

Science must be able to freely conduct research, draw up scenarios and issue advice, as in the case of the nitrogen profile. It is up to politicians to make their decisions based on the facts. This is what Minister Robert Dijgraf (Education and Science) said on the Buitenhof programme. “Don’t blame science.”

Dijkgraf, who was himself a scientist before moving to Cabinet, said science is closely related to discussions in Cabinet. He was referring, among other things, to discussions about nitrogen, climate, and energy. “The facts underlying these complex files are very important.”

The scientific evidence in the nitrogen dossier is called into question, among others, by a number of House political groups and a number of (agricultural) parties involved. Whether this suspicion is justified is left open, but Djgraf emphasized that science presents the facts as well as possible and lays out scenarios. It also provides direction, but then it’s up to the politicians to figure out which path we want to take. Is it acceptable and how can we involve people in it.

Scholars should not be blamed for the final policy choices. They should be able to study a topic freely, they should be able to talk about it freely among themselves and finally be able to give that advice freely. Sometimes it hurts, of course.

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Megan Vasquez

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