Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

December 1977


Different mammalogists have different views on this subject. The following are mine. Historically, there was considerable controversy in the American Society of Mammalogists around 1930 on the question of predator control. The primary reasons for these different views, then and also now, are different value judgements. Science without non-scientific value judgements is not sufficient to lead one to a single view or set of views. Science embodies certain value judgments such as honesty, the public value of human knowledge, objectivity, the desirability of formulating testable hypotheses, and the examination of all relevant and available evidence. Scientists are human beings and citizens, and as such are as entitled/to personal opinions and assorted value judgments as is anyone else. Nevertheless, it is desirable to distinguish the personal from the scientific in our own minds and in our public deliberations. This is not easy to do and we commonly fail.