As experts, scientists must inform the public and political actors about relevant topics by providing a well-balanced analysis and overview of existing
as well as missing
scientific evidence. Particularly in cases where evidence is not solid, they must remain objective and not fan fear. Maintaining good scientific practice can be challenging, especially when a debate is emotionally charged and simple answers for complex issues are demanded. Recently, this was the case with the debate about (perennial) standard time vs. daylight saving time. In this publication, we address the common misconceptions and pitfalls for good scientific practice that accompany this discussion and deduce suggestions for future directions, which may help resolve them. Beyond this, we argue that it is not wise to simply “explain away” the public opinion or preference and we therefore recommend strategies that could support a discourse aiming at getting the public “on board”. Finally, we suggest that, in societies where the light environment is becoming increasingly complex, it may be time to reconsider the prevailing current relationships between solar and social clocks.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited