Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Amazing! Science journal op-ed gets real about why so many people don’t “trust science”

What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

Admittedly, it’s an opinion piece but it sounds as though the author lives on the same planet we do:

As a scientist and an organizer of this conference, I had walked into the planning of this meeting with my own frustrations and preconceptions about “science denial,” and how to fix it. On the day of the event I cautioned the audience that they should prepare to have their assumptions challenged, because after immersing myself in the field I had thrown all of mine away.

Following a day of conversation with more than 20 expert speakers, six key takeaways emerged from the event: …

Check yourself. Remember when bloodletting was a thing? For centuries, leading physicians thought that removing a person’s blood could treat a wide swath of ailments. As it should, scientific consensus evolves over time as new knowledge is uncovered, so what we perceive as “truth” today may change. On top of that, science is a power structure with its own flaws. It still struggles with diversity, and is full of hierarchies, biases, and norms that are not easily disrupted. Before we engage with those who challenge scientific thinking, we should first answer the following questions for ourselves: What were the motivations behind the research? How well corroborated is the data? What oversight and criticism has it received? And—this may the most important of all—why do we believe it? Kari Fischer, “Opinion: What You Believe about “Science Denial” May Be All Wrong” at The Scientist

That’s a new one. “Why do we believe it?” as opposed to “Here is what you must believe!” Caution! You never know what doors that could open.

Sadly, all too often, the scenarios we encounter are not like that. They include stuff like: Forensic science is “in crisis” (innocent people are going to jail due to “science”) or breast cancer research is dogged by failed replication. Next we hear, a study of the causes of science skepticism sails right by the most obvious cause of skepticism: Repeated unreliability.

Good thing someone is getting it right: If you want trust, first, be trustworthy. And start by listening.

See also: Why, in many cases, you’d be a fool to “trust science”

Follow UD News at Twitter!

“Scientists must be unbiased, open minded, honest, humble, focused, dedicated, truth seekers.” This was exactly how I felt many years ago. When I was taking courses to be a microbiologist that was exactly my mentality. That was 20 years ago. I no longer believe that sadly and i still struggle to believe that the men and the women of science blatantly skew and lie on their results. I’ve learned a lot since then And needless to say I never became that microbiologist I wanted to become AaronS1978
Scientists must be unbiased, open minded, honest, humble, focused, dedicated, truth seekers. PeterA
Any honest scientist will admit that their field is exposed to the same politics, ambitions, biases and vindictiveness as any other human endeavour. Sadly, they have to play the game in order to do any research. People who do not play the game can get some of their research published, but this does not guarantee the funding to continue their research. Ed George
Holy cow you are right!!!! AaronS1978

Leave a Reply