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Mixing science with politics is like mixing mustard and ice cream

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Okay, Marcelo Gleiser, who seems to be a fairly smart guy, didn’t quite put it that way but he did say:

Beginning roughly in the 1960s, scientists started to use their findings to caution people and governments about the dangers of certain products or of unchecked industrialization and population growth. Cigarettes are bad for you. There will be a shortage of energy and water as more and more humans fill up the world. Climate change is going to create hell on Earth. Plastics are evil. Pollution of waterways, oceans, and the atmosphere will make people sick, kill animals, and destroy natural resources. Meanwhile, we, as a species — even if we claim to be the most intelligent on this planet — cannot act collectively to change what we are doing to our own environment…

Scientists sounded the alarm, denouncing how the tobacco and fossil fuel industries developed a corrosive strategy to undermine science’s credibility, attacking scientists as opportunists and manipulators. Politicians aligned with these industries jumped in, and a campaign to politicize science took over the headlines. Scientific knowledge became a matter of opinion, something that Francis Bacon fought against almost 400 years ago. The media helped, often giving equal weight to the opinion of the vast majority of scientists and to the opinion of a small contrarian group, confusing the general public to no end. The growth of social media compounded the damage, as individuals with no or little scientific training jumped in ready to make a name for themselves as defenders of freedom and liberty, conflating lies with the American ideal of individual freedom.

Marcelo Gleiser, “When science mixes with politics, all we get is politics” at Big Think (December 8, 2021)

Wait, just a minute here. So far so good until we got to the part about “often giving equal weight to the opinion of the vast majority of scientists and to the opinion of a small contrarian group,” …

There’s actually nothing unusual about the “small contrarian group” being right.

That’s why independent media give such groups attention. It’s like buying raffle tickets. Most of them are just donations to a cause. One of them wins us the eight-foot stuffed bear … oh NO!!

Okay, okay, it’s not necessarily as bad as that. Sometimes it’s “The idea everyone rejected won me the Nobel Prize.” But you never win if you don’t play.

One Reply to “Mixing science with politics is like mixing mustard and ice cream

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Majority vs minority is never the important issue. Government power and funding is the issue. The media ALWAYS follows Deepstate, on science and culture and everything else, because the media is a wholly-owned branch of Deepstate.

    It’s worth remembering that before March 2020, the vast majority of Public Health officers were practicing REAL medicine. The demonic gang who wanted to turn medicine into genocide and torture were quietly scheming inside the secret Bioterror Sections of VA and NIH and CDC. In March 2020 this insane satanic anti-science gang of HOLOCAUSTERS took control of the entire government and media and corporate structure.

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