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Hurting a scientist’s feelings could cost a journal $10 million?

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

From Alex Berezow at American Council on Science and Health:

Climate scientist Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University has sued the National Academy of Sciences, which publishes the prestigious journal PNAS, for publishing an article that disagreed with him. The lawsuit claims that Dr. Jacobson was libeled and slandered. He is suing to get the journal to retract the article.

For his hurt feelings and bruised ego, he also wants a big bag of money, $10 million to be precise.

To understand this, one must factor in the growing influence of post-modernism in science: There are no facts, only feelings. So unsupported claims are not a problem but hurting someone’s feelings is a big problem, if not a crime.

The back story is rather simple and straightforward. Dr. Jacobson published a paper in PNAS that other scientists found faulty. So, they published a rebuttal, which concluded that Dr. Jacobson’s analysis “involves errors, inappropriate methods, and implausible assumptions.” While this is considered rather harsh language for the scientific literature, critiquing the work of others occurs as a matter of routine. Indeed, questioning another scientist’s conclusions is a healthy and integral part of the pursuit of knowledge.More.

“Questioning another scientist’s conclusions is a healthy and integral part of the pursuit of knowledge”? Not in a post-modern world! There is no knowledge but there are indeed feelings, as NAS is discovering.

Scientists are slowly learning the hard way about the dangers of marchin’, marchin’ with progressives when addressing their political concerns:

The activists want to plunder science as they have plundered arts disciplines, making their own sensitivities and grievances the story, rather than anyone’s prospective achievements. If they succeed, the science faculties will have no excuse because they have been warned by the fate of others. The fate of social sciences is instructive.

One can only say to them, finally: No need to remember Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying You’ll be them when the activists get round to you.

But repudiating post-modernism would require a fair bit of soul-searching. Frowning but acquiescing is better for careers. That is how systems slowly decay.

See also: Activists are mad at the March for Science? Good! Keep them mad. Maybe serious science is coming up for oxygen… just maybe.


Can science survive long in a post-modern world? It’s not clear.

Reading the document, this seems to be a commercial dispute disguised as a scientific dispute. The defendant runs a clean energy company and was objecting to the plaintiff's paper because it countered some of the claims he was making for his products. Both sides are Gaians, so it's not "science" vs "deniers". polistra

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