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Science as activism, also known as bad science: Herbicide division

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

From Hank Campbell at Science 2.0, on how a garden product got labeled, evidence-free, as a cancer risk (carcinogens):

When I give talks in front of audiences about science, I often joke about conspiracy beliefs promoted by anti-science groups like Center for Biological Diversity about the science and health community. In reality, we are not helping each other, much less conspiring with each other for the benefit of industry, we are instead a loose confederation of pro-science anarchists. The really organized long game is played by environmental groups; they truly help each other. And they ask to be rewarded by getting jobs as government insiders. Count the employees from Union of Concerned Scientists and other groups who got jobs in the Obama administration after successfully waging war against Republicans in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 – they use that prestige when recruiting. By contrast, most scientists, and right-of-center people, don’t want to work in government at all.

Environmentalists have successfully manipulated IARC using that same strategy. In 1986, when Prop 65 was passed, IARC was a world-class organization, that is why it was an honor to have the first director of IARC on our Board of Trustees.Today, IARC has run out of carcinogens to study so they have taken to inventing them – bacon, glyphosate, hot water, you name it.

Environmentalists have gamed the system, and they did it by creating a community where no one will debunk the claims made by other activists. They used the following three methods to gain insidious control of an entire United Nations group… More.

There are reasons why “science” does not get the respect some pundits think it should. To the extent that the pundits don’t seem intent on doing anything about the problems, all that the rest of us can do is let people know the good reasons for doubt.

Note: Some of us avoid herbicides for home use because we think that a plant growing in an ecologically suitable location should not need much additional protection from pests. A plant that cannot defend itself under even favorable conditions is just not the right plant. Turning the garden into a plant hospital is unjustifiable work and expense.

See also: The golden age of fake science and dodgy statistics


Tales of the Tone Deaf, featuring dim profs writing in dozy journals about why people doubt Science and how to Fix those people.


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