Student or Learner
This explains why "public disputes" are needed to draw public attention. but I can't understand the last lined part. What does "public confidence is waning" mean?
13.1)While it may be distressing to scientists who would rather avoid public disputes—it’s true—conflict and controversy ____(A)____. It isn’t that journalists are always trying to damage your reputation or make you look like a fool. It’s that the best stories usually involve some sort of conflict, and sometimes a resolution. Without it, a story falls flat. If Odysseus simply sailed around the Mediterranean without travails or mishap, do you think Homer’s stories would have had the same shelf life? We are a culture accustomed to conflict and even addicted to it. We want to find out: what happened next? Who won? Unfortunately, the media’s appetite for discord is fertile ground for professional doubt-makers. This is why it is important for you to be able to explain how there can be overall scientific consensus while discrete areas of argument still exist. A troubling example is the broad scientific agreement that human-caused climate change is happening, even though debates rage on to the point that public confidence is waning.
not a teacher
waning = decreasing in vigor, power or extent; becoming weaker
The last sentence says that despite the fact that there is broad scientific consensus on the cause of climate change, the continuing debate on the matter is causing the public to lose confidence in that consensus – their confidence is weakening.