Picking Carl Sagan (1934–1996) as a pop sci celeb who represents the “mythologization” of science, he writes:
Science has been thoroughly Saganized. The vast majority of research papers are wrong, their results cannot be replicated. The researchers writing them often don’t even understand what they’re doing wrong and don’t care. Research is increasingly indistinguishable from politics. Studies are framed in ways that prove a political premise, whether it’s that the world will end without a carbon tax or that racism causes obesity. If they prove the premise, the research is useful to the progressive non-profits and politicians who always claim to have science in their corner. If it doesn’t, then it isn’t funded.
“Science” has been reduced to an absolute form of authority that is always correct. The Saganists envision science as a battle between superstition and truth, but what distinguished science from superstition was the ability to throw out wrong conclusions based on testing. Without the scientific method, science is just another philosophy where anything can be proven if you manipulate the terminology so that the target is drawn around the arrow. Add statistical games and nothing means anything.
This form of science measures itself not against the universe, but against the intellectual bubble inhabited by those who share the same worldview or those who live under their control. It’s not a bold exploration of the cosmos, but a timid repetition of cliches.Daniel Greenfield, “End of Science” at Sultan Knish
There are laudable efforts like Retraction Watch, to be sure.
But, sensing the weakness, hordes of political operatives are now laying siege to science—see, for example, “Journalist DouglasMurray reflects on the progressive war on science.”
The hordes sometimes have the tacit, flaccid (and soon perhaps strident) support of science’s gatekeepers. Then the question will become, why should taxpayers support guerilla wars between aggrieved status groups over the corpse of science?
They can’t all lose, unfortunately. But they could all be defunded…
The only good news: From the chaos, ruins, scandals, and foregone flops will grow a new respect for the disciplines again. At least some people still really want to do science.
See also: Which side will atheists choose in the war on science? They need to re-evaluate their alliance with progressivism, which is doing science no favours.