Teaching children the real truth about science

''NOT all scientists are good scientists,'' Nobel laureate Harold Kroto says when asked what he thinks about the debate around global warming.

''We don't have a 100 per cent reliable assessment so we can only say - and I would say - that it doesn't look good.''

Professor Kroto ticks off the warning signs on his fingers, listing rising sea levels and temperatures, the shrinking Arctic and melting glaciers.

''I look at the evidence [and] the evidence is not good,'' he said. ''That's the situation. We're in a 100-year experiment and it will take another 100 years to decide and then it will be too late.''

But Professor Kroto - based at Florida State University - is not in Australia to talk about climate change. He wants to talk about science and why it is important not to let it drift into the zone of ideology and belief, rather than reason and evidence.

''Science is totally misunderstood … It is the only philosophical construct that we have to determine the truth with any degree of reliability, and that requires evidence, which elevates it to a different plane - it elevates it to something that every child should have,'' he said.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/teaching-children-th...