Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has said that predictions of extreme rainfall and severe storms by BRIN researchers must be taken to have been made in a personal capacity.

"The weather forecast by one of BRIN researchers on December 27 (2022) was a personal opinion, not officially from our agency," head of BRIN, Laksana Tri Handoko, clarified in a written statement received here on Thursday.

In keeping with regulations in Indonesia, BRIN still refers to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) for weather and climate information and forecasts, he added.

"All this time, we have worked closely with the BMKG. For weather information, the public must refer to the BMKG," Handoko said.

Earlier, he informed that the public received information on predictions of severe storms which had become the basis for policymakers. One of BRIN's climatologists at the Center for Climate and Atmosphere, Erma Yulihastin, had predicted extreme weather on December 28.

"Academics have academic freedom and scientific authority according to their fields, within the scientific community. However, in giving authority over scientific information in public spaces, this authority does not apply. Public spaces have broad legal impacts and consequences," Handoko said.

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He confirmed that BRIN is responsible for and contributes to public information. In most cases, BRIN is also the main data supplier for various types of information, including forest fires, weather, climate, disasters, health, nuclear, and others.

He added that BRIN has many qualified researchers in almost all scientific fields. However, this does not mean that BRIN is an institution that has scientific authority in all fields. The scientific authority only belongs to BRIN researchers according to their expertise.

"The science information authority in public space owned by BRIN is only information on objects falling from space according to Law 21/2013 concerning Space," he said.

Thus, various cases of misinformation should make all parties aware of the importance of strengthening scientific literacy for the public. As a government agency for research and innovation, BRIN is certainly one of the parties responsible for this, Handoko said.

"Especially at BRIN, we are working hard to improve, not only the research and innovation ecosystem but also scientific standards and norms and culture among researchers nationally," he added.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
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