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At The Scientist: “Science must combat dogmatism”

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What? Such a view was actually aired at The Scientist?:

In light of the accelerating rate of scientific and technological breakthroughs, this ongoing and often frustrating debate of how to incorporate science into public policy is necessary for research to contribute to societal progress. We, as a society, need to learn how to have constructive, evidence-based scientific discussions. It is no secret that a significant slice of the American political spectrum harbors anti-science sentiments, and this segment largely overlaps with the political right. This is certainly an impediment to the formation of evidence-based policies. But the politicizing of science by the right has induced a natural reaction from the left: to blindly trust scientists. This subtle form of scientific dogmatism could inadvertently undermine the credibility of scientific institutions and could similarly challenge rational policymaking. It is as unscientific to blindly trust scientists as it is to dismiss them.

As the pandemic ramped up on American shores in early 2020, the left-leaning public took strong stances on issues such as the origin of the pandemic, hydroxychloroquine, masks, herd immunity, or social distancing, almost always antagonizing the declared positions of the Trump Administration, which occupied the White House at that time. These positions did not appear to be an outcome of a careful study of the underlying information but rather were reactionary and ideological. How many examined the actual data behind the hydroxychloroquine hypothesis before forming an opinion on it? How many repeated headlines about the length of immunity against COVID-19 or the efficacy of vaccines against an emerging variant without examining the data supporting those claims? Are people aware that there is an ongoing scientific discussion about whether the COVID-19 outbreak could have originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology?

Ahmed Alkhateeb, “Opinion: Scientists Must Combat Scientific Dogmatism” at The Scientist (September 23, 2021)

Easier said than done. Sadly, when we are told primly to “trust the science,” it is nearly always the case that the persons demanding the trust means by “the science” whatever science happens to support their position. One thing the COVID pandemic did was make a far greater proportion of the public aware of that meaning of “trust the science” than was the case in the past. For better or worse.

3 Replies to “At The Scientist: “Science must combat dogmatism”

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    This author seems to be somewhat sincere, but he misses several basic facts about political reality.

    First, the “measures” were STARTED BY THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. If Trump really opposed any of this shit, he had the power to fire or counteract the bureaucrats. He didn’t fire or stop Carter Mecher, and he didn’t fire or stop Fauci.

    Second, Trump was always a fake “opposition”. This was clear long before 2016 to people who knew him well, and the Wikileaks emails made it clear to everyone. His role was Pied Piper. He was assigned to make “right-wingers” look horrible and bring them out of the woodwork for identification. Trump was cultivated by Roy Cohn, who had previously cultivated Joe McCarthy for the identical purpose.

    Third, the most serious anti-vaxxers are Democrats. Before 2020, anti-vax belonged exclusively to the vegan OCD hippie types of Portland and Seattle. As of now, blacks and Hispanics are the least vaccinated and the most resistant.

  2. 2
    BobRyan says:

    In order for a vaccine to be a vaccine, the targeted virus must be killed. The reason small pox is a thing of the past is the effectiveness of killing the virus.

    With COVID , the people who are getting the shots continue to get the virus without their bodies killing it. It is not a vaccine. Calling it a vaccine does not make it so.

    Calling it an epidemic only works when comorbities are ignored.

    From the link above, influenza and pneumonia remain the biggest killers. Included in the comorbidities are Alzheimer and poisoning, neither of which can be attributed to a death due to COVID.

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    “Trust the science,” is an example of an impractical piece of advice. A silly war-cry.
    “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition,” is an example of a more practical piece of advice.

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