Similarly, only 9 percent of commentary pieces and letters to the editor in major US newspapers and magazines were written by university-based scientists in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The study was reported in the academic journal Organizations & Environment.
Another study finds a dearth of articles about climate change in business, sociology, and political science publications.
Why is this? New York Times commentator David Brooks captured the nature of the problem in 2009 when he was asked on a National Public Radio broadcast if he thought any current scholars might have the same influence as mid-twentieth century intellectual, Reinhold Niebuhr. He replied:
“My favorite period of American social science is the period roughly between ’55 and ’65. And this was a period when you had a series of public intellectuals who were not lost in academic disciplines, but who are much higher-brow than your average journalist.” But, he added, “the milieu that created these big daring public intellectuals just isn’t there right now.”