At FiveThirtyEight: “The easiest way to undermine good science is to demand that it be made ‘sound.’”
|December 9, 2017||Posted by News under Culture, Intelligent Design, Mind, Peer review|
From at Christie Anschwanden FiveThirtyEight:
These are the arguments underlying an “open science” reform movement that was created, in part, as a response to a “reproducibility crisis” that has struck some fields of science.1 But they’re also used as talking points by politicians who are working to make it more difficult for the EPA and other federal agencies to use science in their regulatory decision-making, under the guise of basing policy on “sound science.” Science’s virtues are being wielded against it.
What distinguishes the two calls for transparency is intent: Whereas the “open science” movement aims to make science more reliable, reproducible and robust, proponents of “sound science” have historically worked to amplify uncertainty, create doubt and undermine scientific discoveries that threaten their interests.
“Our criticisms are founded in a confidence in science,” said Steven Goodman, co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford and a proponent of open science. “That’s a fundamental difference — we’re critiquing science to make it better. Others are critiquing it to devalue the approach itself.”
That’s an odd focus in an age when the public hears about mounting tax-funded science scandals.
Couldn’t we start by talking about that? On the other hand, she says,
These controversies are really about values, not scientific facts, and acknowledging that would allow us to have more truthful and productive debates. What would that look like in practice? Instead of cherry-picking evidence to support a particular view (and insisting that the science points to a desired action), the various sides could lay out the values they are using to assess the evidence. More.
Yes, let’s do have a discussion around the values that shape claims in science. How about starting with, do you believe that people are competent to assess fairly presented evidence? Some think that consciousness is an evolved illusion, so no. We evolved to need coercion and there is only power. Where do discussion partners stand on that view?
See also: Retraction world: If this is science, yes we do hate it