Darwin was a geologist. Does this mean his opinions on biology should be ignored?
NEWSPAPERS should refrain from publishing the opinions of average Australians, academic Robert Manne has said.
Professor Manne says they should report only the views of a "core" of experts in key debates.
At a book-signing in Sydney last night, he also urged the media to embrace greater contributions from controversial left-wing commentators such as US linguistics professor Noam Chomsky and Beirut-based commentator Robert Fisk.
Professor Manne is facing fierce criticism over his recently published Quarterly Essay, Bad News, in which he alleges that The Australian plays an "overbearing" and "unhealthy" role in national debates by publishing fringe views on controversial topics.
Professor Manne, who described climate change as the most serious threat facing the planet, has said only experts within the "core" of the scientific consensus should be heard.
"I do not believe it makes sense for non-scientists to have views on scientific issues," he told the gathering at Gleebooks, in inner Sydney.
"They should get scientists in the consensual core to debate it, but that would be so boring."