We add to current discussions about the interface between ecology, values, and objectivity by reporting on a novel Delphi-based study of the scientific reasoning employed by a group of eight ecologists as they collectively considered current ecological thinking. We rely on contextual empiricism, with its features of multiple ways of relating theory to reality and science as a social activity, to provide a richer understanding of scientific objectivity. This understanding recognizes the place and contributions of values and, in so doing, moves the discussion beyond whether or not science is “value neutral.”
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Vol. 55 • No. 10