Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jan 2017 21:58 UTC
In the News

Over the past few weeks, we've gotten notes from Verge Science readers wondering why news from the incoming Trump administration has seeped into our science coverage. I wasn't surprised: it's tempting to believe that science is apolitical. But science and politics are plainly related: science is the pursuit of knowledge, knowledge is power, and power is politics.

The scientific method consists of generating a hypothesis, attempting to disprove the hypothesis through testing, and accumulating those tests to come up with shared knowledge. And that method also contains ideology: our observed, shared world is the real world. This ideology even has a name: empiricism. An incoming president who clearly picks and chooses facts to suit his own version of the world changes the relationship between science and culture, in potentially destructive ways.

"To be taught to read - what is the use of that, if you know not whether what you read is false or true? To be taught to write or to speak - but what is the use of speaking, if you have nothing to say? To be taught to think - nay, what is the use of being able to think, if you have nothing to think of? But to be taught to see is to gain word and thought at once, and both true."

Tomorrow, in a mirror, darkly.

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Comment by Gone fishing
by Gone fishing on Thu 19th Jan 2017 22:51 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

The attack on science is a tragedy and at a time where the issues facing the world, such as climate change can only be understood using reason and empiricism i.e. using science. This attack maybe part of an unfolding disaster. The ideas of the enlightenment - science has been responsible for the progress we have made accepting its inequalities, unevenness and horrors.

Where did this come from? Unfortunately the post socialist, post modernist left must take much of the responsibility. Recognising real philosophical issues with science they have developed the idea that it is impossible to know the truth, empiricism is illusory and science is simply a social construction, part of a the grand narrative created by power and patriarchy. Consider Newton's Principia Mathematica as a "rape manual".

However this has gone beyond the left the right is now running with the idea, allowing them to reject any science it doesn’t like Darwinism, climate change etc. The right and the post truth politics of today may well be the opening shot of a coming apocalypse.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Gone fishing
by kwan_e on Thu 19th Jan 2017 23:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Gone fishing"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

However this has gone beyond the left the right is now running with the idea, allowing them to reject any science it doesn’t like Darwinism, climate change etc.


The right has always been at home with rejecting science it doesn't like, long before the "post socialist post modernist" left, whatever that means. Whether it's Darwinism, or any form of environmental concern, the right has been rejecting it whenever it threatens their economic or religious fantasies.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Gone fishing
by judgen on Fri 20th Jan 2017 01:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Gone fishing"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Or adopt it. The climate scare is real and the UN carbon tax is on the table. Democrats cheer at that thought of a one world government of which trump is a backlash against.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by Gone fishing
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 20th Jan 2017 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Gone fishing"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Or adopt it. The climate scare is real and the UN carbon tax is on the table. Democrats cheer at that thought of a one world government of which trump is a backlash against.


The last time people people spouted nonsense about secret world governments... Well, it didn't end well.

Do you people listen to yourself?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Gone fishing
by JMcCarthy on Fri 20th Jan 2017 08:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Gone fishing"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

Do you listen to yourelf or are you pretending you've never used the words ManBearPig in reference to climate change?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Gone fishing
by kwan_e on Fri 20th Jan 2017 05:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Gone fishing"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Democrats cheer at that thought of a one world government


Yeah, I'm sure you saw them dancing and cheering on a roof top

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Gone fishing
by Alfman on Fri 20th Jan 2017 07:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Gone fishing"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

Yeah, I'm sure you saw them dancing and cheering on a roof top


Not sure everyone will get the reference...but I see what you did there!


The thing is, it was always easy to see through Trump's lies with documented records and even his own flip flops & contradictions. We know he's going to continue lying, however as president he is in a much better position to suppress conflicting intelligence agency information and even official BLS economic data like employment & income, which could be at risk of being manipulated in order to prove how good a job Trump is doing.

It sounds completely insane, but scientists have been frantically copying scientific data to foreign jurisdictions before Trump gets control of the US agencies managing it:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13...

Attacking and even suing the media is nothing new for Trump, he keeps loosing those lawsuits because he doesn't have a legal case. But as president he could push for laws that actually give his lawsuits teeth to punish the media for unappealing coverage. It is insane this could happen in the US, but it's one of the things he said he would do, watch the video:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/02/donald-trump-libel-l...
I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money...


The world could become very inhospitable for news sources and maybe even commentators who don't cover the news the way he wants.

Edited 2017-01-20 07:40 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Gone fishing
by kwan_e on Fri 20th Jan 2017 09:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Gone fishing"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/02/donald-trump-libel-l...
"I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money...


The world could become very inhospitable for news sources and maybe even commentators who don't cover the news the way he wants.
"

It seems the Republican President needs his safe space.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Gone fishing
by Gone fishing on Fri 20th Jan 2017 02:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Gone fishing"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

This is undoubtedly true we have always had the ignorant bigoted right, conservative jingoists trying to go back to some idyllic patriotic illusion. However, they have generally been marginal and seen to be the swivel-eyed loons that they are. The post socialist, post modernist left, however has given the attack on science a spurious intellectual legitimacy. What is “really” important is the narrative, the truth is unknowable. Science is simply a creation of the grand narrative and the product of power patriarchy etc.
The post modernist left, Blairism has opened the door for the “post truth” world by intellectually legitimizing it. The right has fully embraced “post truth” and now it is not just a few swivel-eyed loons but the post truth right is emerging as movement and unfortunately the post modernist left with its toxic identity politics has acted as its midwife.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by Gone fishing
by daveak on Sat 21st Jan 2017 11:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Gone fishing"
daveak Member since:
2008-12-29

The post modernist left, Blairism has opened the door for the “post truth” world by intellectually legitimizing it.


I hope you aren't referring to Tony Blair when you say Blairism. He and his supports have nothing to do with left wing politics. As Thatcher, champion of the right, stated, he and new labour were her finest achievement.

Edited 2017-01-21 11:17 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by Gone fishing
by Gone fishing on Sun 22nd Jan 2017 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Gone fishing"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Yes I am referring to Tony. He had an explicit agenda of reinventing a post socialist left. Although how he managed to reinvent the Labour party as neo conservative New Labour leaves me almost speechless. With Blair it was all about the narrative, the father of the post truth world. Nevertheless he still had to appear radical, embracing identity politics a truly postmodern politician.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Gone fishing
by rleigh on Fri 20th Jan 2017 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Gone fishing"
rleigh Member since:
2014-11-15

"The right"?! No, it's the entire political spectrum. They are very selective about supporting the science which supports their viewpoint, and ignoring the rest. They treat scientific facts and ongoing research as talking points to give the illusion of legitimacy to their policies and actions, nothing more for the most part.

Go and read about Lysenko for one of the worst examples. This lead to widespread famine and the execution of geneticists. All because the idea of inherited characteristics was supposedly counter to communist/socialist principles. That's how the soviets' treated science. Like all anti-science delusions, it ended badly because reality always wins over ungrounded beliefs be they religious, political or other. Lysenko set back genetics research in the USSR by at least 30 years, by making the whole field taboo. Given the huge industrial and agrigultural and medical implications of this loss, it had a huge and detrimental effect. Just imagine for a moment what might have happened instead if Soviet scientists had been able to persue genetic research from the 20s to the 60s and beyond.

While politics certainly influences science in terms of funding, science itself is (or should be when done properly) completely apolitical. Facts are facts, and are true irrespective of any religious or political interference.

Edited 2017-01-20 12:55 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Gone fishing
by bnolsen on Mon 23rd Jan 2017 03:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Gone fishing"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

I have a hard time correlating making up almost half of the climate data as "estimated samples", the estimated samples all exhibiting the hockey stick and using that to poison the climate models, then using the fit models to beat people over the head.

Bad science is bad science, fraudulent science is even worse. Using fraudulent science to beat people over the head and strong arm whole industries is just plain criminal.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Gone fishing
by Dave_K on Fri 20th Jan 2017 12:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by Gone fishing"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

I don't think you can blame right wing anti-science on the left wing variety, and more than the right can be blamed for left wing lunacy.

Religious opposition to any science that contradicts dogma goes back centuries. Darwin's theory of evolution was certainly being opposed by Christian fundamentalists long before Marxist/feminist post-modern madness like calling Principia Mathematica a rape manual.

All that's happened, in my opinion, is that left wing feminist and 'social justice' anti-science has become more mainstream. It has escaped the fringes of academia and cult-like radical feminist groups and gained voices in the mainstream media, along with enough political influence to be dangerous.

It's certainly something that's contributed to the success of Trump, UKIP, and other right wing populists. I know a few people in the atheist/sceptic community who've voted right for the first time ever - a reaction to the obnoxious, intolerant and dogmatic behaviour of the 'social justice' left. With Trump in power I can see things swinging back though, especially if he panders to America's religious right.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Gone fishing
by abraxas on Tue 24th Jan 2017 13:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Gone fishing"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

You are delusional if you think Trump is a product of the left. The know-nothings on the right that got this idiot elected existed for a long time in the GOP. The problem is the GOP didn't want to waste a single vote so they accepted the conspiracy theories and bullshit until it took over the party. The left wing nutters get marginalized in the Democratic party. How it should be.

Edited 2017-01-24 13:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Polarisation
by Lennie on Fri 20th Jan 2017 18:52 UTC in reply to "Comment by Gone fishing"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Why is that in the US everything always has to be left or right ?

It's either, this is a leftist idea or a rightist idea.

It's like people make a list and put everything in 2 buckets.

No reason, no moderation, no room for discussion.

And no compromise.

In computing terms: the world is analog, not digital. :-)

Reply Score: 7

RE: Polarisation
by sean on Sun 22nd Jan 2017 02:21 UTC in reply to "Polarisation"
sean Member since:
2005-06-29

I wholeheartedly agree. This "you are either with me or against me" attitude riles me. It seems like too many people enjoy this attitude. I have seen where a compromise would actually make two (or more) parties happy, but they do not want that; that want to conquer the other parties.

I think teaching children to come up with more than two solutions to an issue and seriously contemplating all of them would be good building block for the world.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Polarisation
by Lennie on Sun 22nd Jan 2017 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Polarisation"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I've heard some good things about Montessori education learning problem solving, but I've never seen it up close.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Polarisation
by sean on Sun 22nd Jan 2017 21:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Polarisation"
sean Member since:
2005-06-29

Hmm. I went to Montessori from ages 4 through 6. That may explain me a bit. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Polarisation
by ezraz on Sun 22nd Jan 2017 16:53 UTC in reply to "Polarisation"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

Why is that in the US everything always has to be left or right ?

It's either, this is a leftist idea or a rightist idea.

It's like people make a list and put everything in 2 buckets.

No reason, no moderation, no room for discussion.

And no compromise.

In computing terms: the world is analog, not digital. :-)



Nailed it. This is done on purpose by the politicians and media. They present ideas as digital (2 solutions only) and can better control the populace with this flawed logic.

Life is analog. Controlling people is much easier with digital thinking.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Polarisation
by Lennie on Sun 22nd Jan 2017 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Polarisation"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Repeal of Citizens United would be at the top of my list if I were interested in solving it.

I wonder if they will be able to do it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_PAC

Reply Score: 2

everybody uses scince selectively
by unclefester on Thu 19th Jan 2017 23:45 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Every political party is anti-science and uses scientific facts selectively.

Reply Score: 11

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

unclefester,

Every political party is anti-science and uses scientific facts selectively.


Yes, to an extent all politicians do that, as do people in general. Additionally there has always been a governmental tendency to lie by omission (ie we only learn the truth through whistle blowers). However, US politics lately are moving well beyond selective use of facts. The new president is completely making them up, like when he claimed to have personal investigators who found evidence Obama was Muslim.

I've always thought that people who were totally honest wouldn't be electable, but I hadn't really considered the opposite extreme with people who had no honestly. What I find most remarkable is that this pathological lying doesn't hurt Trump's political traction at all. Apparently saying what people what to hear is much more important than saying anything true.

As much as I dislike dishonest people, I can't deny I've learned a lot about politics and humanity these past few months. Trump overwhelmingly proves that having facts doesn't matter at all. People claim Trump isn't predictable, but I disagree, he's been very predictable if you watch what he does rather than listen to what he says. He always takes personal credit for anything that succeeds, and he always blames others when anything fails. This pattern holds true not only for recent political events but also for his business. He regularly makes up facts when the truth is inconvenient. His plans to physically remove the media from whitehouse operations & staff will make it genuinely difficult for the media to cover the truth. This all fits perfectly which his ego.

Edited 2017-01-20 00:53 UTC

Reply Score: 5

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

I had some hope that after his victory and because of his big, the biggest, immense ego, he would be worried about his legacy and would fight to project a proper image on history, I don't have it anymore.

I think most of us fail to see things like they really are and keep trying to see a pinch of ourselves on others, even the ones we should not. When someone cross what is ethically acceptable, usually, or does not understand which limits should not be crossed, or don't give a dead flying duck about it. Unluckily, it seems to me that both apply to the new government.

Reply Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

As a foreigner, I wonder was it talk radio or fox news which created a whole sphere of 'counter facts'. That allowed trump to use some of those lies with some credit.

This wasn't something I would have predicted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB38DvTV5kc

Reply Score: 3

ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

As a foreigner, I wonder was it talk radio or fox news which created a whole sphere of 'counter facts'. That allowed trump to use some of those lies with some credit.

This wasn't something I would have predicted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB38DvTV5kc



Talk radio built and tested the model. FoxNews just put it on TV before the TV christians could.

Ignorance is bliss amongst the american right.

Reply Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

And they elected a full blown fascist, following for a large part the usual populist playbook.

Not gonna say Hillary was a good candidate, but if DNC knew trump was the other candidate and they wanted to win they should have gone with Bernie.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lennie,

Not gonna say Hillary was a good candidate, but if DNC knew trump was the other candidate and they wanted to win they should have gone with Bernie.


Unfortunately a large number Bernie supporters were independents who weren't even allowed to vote for him. It resulted in the quirky scenario where we were encouraging others to vote for him, but couldn't do so ourselves. I often hear people outside the US criticizing US electorate for bad candidates, but they never factor in the stupid rules of our system that give all the power to incumbents and leave zero representation for independents.

Reply Score: 2

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Oh boy. fascism is just another side of the coin of socialism. If you even slightly do some research it's plain to see *which* candidate was much closer to fascist policies. I want some of what you guys are smoking cuz it must be good.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

bnolsen,

Oh boy. fascism is just another side of the coin of socialism. If you even slightly do some research it's plain to see *which* candidate was much closer to fascist policies. I want some of what you guys are smoking cuz it must be good.



No kidding, Trump's administration is already peddling "alternative facts" to counter real ones they don't like. Even petty things like how many attended his inauguration:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/20/us/politics/trump-ina...

Now I don't really care about that at all, but look at how the president's gut reaction was to have the press secretary open their very first press conference fabricating blatant lies and attacking the press.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPA5vdf0FWc

Conway doubles down:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSrEEDQgFc8
Chuck: You did not answer the question of why the president asked the white house press secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood? Why did he do that, it undermines the credibility of the entire white house press office...

Conway: No it doesn't

Chuck: on day one. Why?

Conway: Don't be so overly dramatic about it, chuck, you're saying it's a falsehood and they're giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, alternative facts to that.


Trump shoveled the same crap throughout the campaign, but it's very disheartening to see the pathological lying continuing as president. Anyone who felt previous administrations were dishonest, just sit tight, Trump's administration is going to take misinformation to unprecedented levels. And since most Americans live in their own bubbles, they won't know the half of what's going on.
We're whitnesing the seeds of fascism being planted right now, it's very dangerous.

Edited 2017-01-23 08:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh boy. fascism is just another side of the coin of socialism. If you even slightly do some research it's plain to see *which* candidate was much closer to fascist policies. I want some of what you guys are smoking cuz it must be good.


The notion that any mainstream US politician is a "socialist" is absurd, and is a great demonstration of how far to the right the US political spectrum is skewed when compared to the rest of the western, industrialized world.

If Hilary Clinton were to run for office in E.g. Canada, she'd be much more likely to run for the Conservatives than for the Liberals - let alone any of our actual left-leaning parties like the NDP or the Greens.

Reply Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

He is already started to work on making sure he creates a narrative which suits him:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3zNV1ZQ0YM

Not a bad idea of Obama to deploy the troops that were asked for, let's see what trump will do:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHX031UoCXA

Reply Score: 3

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Just a reminder and a note of hope, I wouldn't call 46% overwhelming.

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

It's interesting (but not surprising) that the scientific positions that each party rejects are largely based on economic ideology (At least in the US)- the left's rejection of modern medical and agricultural science - vaccines, biotech in food, etc, is largely due to and anti-corporate stance, while the right's rejection of climate change (well, everything possibly related to environmentalism) is largely due to a pro-corporate, pro-industry stance.

Of course, the right's rejection of climate science is near universal among Republicans, while rejection of medical/agricultural science on the left isn't nearly universal among Democrats.

Edited 2017-01-20 02:36 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

You are mixing science and technology.

You can "believe" in nuclear physics but be against nuclear power.
You can believe in natural selection, DNA and Darwinism and be against genetically modified crops.

Reply Score: 3

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

You are mixing science and technology.


Not at all. The rational the left has for rejecting such technology is based wholly on bad science. Their motivation may be anti-corporate in nature, but it is bad science and outright misrepresentation of the scientific evidence that they use as a rational for their rejection.

For example, they cling to the fraudulent study by Andrew Wakefield as evidence of harm caused by vaccines. Their distrust might be inspired by distrust of "Big Pharma", but their justification is wholly rooted in anti-science.

Same with biotech in ag. A distrust of Monsanto causes them to reject the science that says that GMO corps are actually beneficial, at times considerably more so than the organic equivalents, or reject the science that says this tech is as safe as traditional breeding methods (even potentially safer). They reject science, and use bad or fraudulent "science" to justify their rejection.

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Anti-vaxing is neither a common stance on the Left, nor is it limited to the Left. Donald Trump himself has peddled that shit: https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/449525268529815552

Reply Score: 3

Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

Since when did the narrative change that the Left embraces anti-vaxxing as a policy?

If anything I would think it comes from the same lunatic fringe (al-right, tea party, etc.) that thinks chemtrails are in the sky, mind control agents are in the milk, and your TV is secretly spying on you. (no, Europeans, I'm not kidding. I've really had arguments with my fellow Americans on these topics)

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

I agree it isn't limited to the left, but at least among the people I know, those that lean left seem to be more likely to reject the science behind vaccines, and for the same reasons they reject conventional pesticides.

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Every political party is anti-science and uses scientific facts selectively.


For example? I can think of plenty from political parties on the right side of the political spectrum: attempts to get creationism taught in school and climate change denialism seem to be the exclusive domain of the Republicans, in the US. And for an example outside the US, there's the actions by Canada's previous federal government, the Harper Conservatives, attempting to muzzle government-funded scientists by preventing them from speaking publicly about research on politically-inconvenient topics (climate change, primarily - http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/faq-the-issues-around-muzzling-go...).

What examples of equivalent anti-science actions actions/policies are there from the opposite end of the political spectrum?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Meor
by Meor on Fri 20th Jan 2017 04:57 UTC
Meor
Member since:
2006-09-29

I don't agree, science is the set of reproducible things.

Politics may use science to perpetuate itself but science has no need of politics.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Meor
by nicubunu on Fri 20th Jan 2017 06:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by Meor"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

Science needs money and many times the money come from public (hence politics)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Meor
by unclefester on Fri 20th Jan 2017 08:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by Meor"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

I don't agree, science is the set of reproducible things.

Politics may use science to perpetuate itself but science has no need of politics.


The vast majority of working scientists know that most results are not reproducible and that poor quality research is the norm. In some cases the results are simply made up.

You should read this famous 2005 paper (2410 citations):

Citation: Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS Med 2(8): e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pm...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Meor
by kwan_e on Fri 20th Jan 2017 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Meor"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

The vast majority of working scientists know that most results are not reproducible and that poor quality research is the norm. In some cases the results are simply made up.

You should read this famous 2005 paper (2410 citations):

Citation: Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS Med 2(8): e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pm...



Do you see the "PLoS Med" in the citation? Pretty sure med is not even most of science, so even if most med research is not reproducible, that still hardly means most of science is unreliable.

You claimed Big Science projects don't produce anything useful compared to smaller health studies, but those health studies are precisely the ones under attack in your citation.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Meor
by unclefester on Fri 20th Jan 2017 11:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Meor"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

[q]The vast majority of working scientists know that most results are not reproducible and that poor quality research is the norm. In some cases the results are simply made up.

You should read this famous 2005 paper (2410 citations):

Citation: Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS Med 2(8): e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pm...



Do you see the "PLoS Med" in the citation? Pretty sure med is not even most of science, so even if most med research is not reproducible, that still hardly means most of science is unreliable.

You claimed Big Science projects don't produce anything useful compared to smaller health studies, but those health studies are precisely the ones under attack in your citation.


Try reading the paper before commenting. It discusses how poor experimental design and statistical analysis affects most experiments in most disciplines.

Most outstanding scientific breakthroughs comes from tiny research groups of "rock star" scientists performing cutting edge basic research. eg The Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University has produced a staggering 29 Nobel Prizes. [It should be noted that physics and chemistry experiments are generally reproducible.]
http://www.phy.cam.ac.uk/history/nobel


Big Science tends to create swollen bureaucracies employing vast numbers of mediocre researchers. They produce poor quality research that promises breakthroughs and attracts more funding in a never ending cycle.

Edited 2017-01-20 11:09 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Meor
by kwan_e on Fri 20th Jan 2017 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Meor"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Try reading the paper before commenting. It discusses how poor experimental design and statistical analysis affects most experiments in most disciplines.


Then why did they publish it in a medical journal, and why are all the citations on PubMed and mostly about medicine?

I agree there is a reproducibility test in science. But it mostly affects medicine and sociology and psychology.

Most outstanding scientific breakthroughs comes from tiny research groups of "rock star" scientists performing cutting edge basic research. eg The Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University has produced a staggering 29 Nobel Prizes. [It should be noted that physics and chemistry experiments are generally reproducible.]
http://www.phy.cam.ac.uk/history/nobel


Yeah? And look at the years on those prizes awarded.

Most of those outstanding scientific breakthroughs happened when it was still POSSIBLE to have tiny groups of researchers. There is a limit to what tabletop science can discover. Trying to pretend that the situation hasn't changed in the last 100 years is a fool's errand.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Meor
by No it isnt on Sat 21st Jan 2017 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Meor"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if medicine were the majority of science. It's an incredibly active field, and most hospitals of some size do a fair bit of research, churning out articles for anything and everything.

And yes, the lack of reliability of medicine is one reason why it has to be this way. You can't do one single experiment and get the definitive answer, you need to test everything -- procedures, pharmaceutical products, diagnostic tools, diagnostic definitions, etc., etc. -- over and over, just to add a little drop, a suggestion, to the ocean of medican knowledge.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Meor
by shakeshuck on Fri 20th Jan 2017 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Meor"
shakeshuck Member since:
2011-03-21

Ergo this paper is also false?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Meor
by unclefester on Fri 20th Jan 2017 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Meor"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Ergo this paper is also false?


It is a discussion paper about the scientific method. By definition it cannot be falsified.

Reply Score: 3

False
by acobar on Fri 20th Jan 2017 08:01 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

Power is not politics, its use can, and frequently, is. Science is not politics, but its use and development can be misguided by politics interests, like every other thing in society.

Of course, our models need to be inline with what we observe, but we are well beyond the philosophical discussion we had about the nature of reality and empiricism that generated heated discussions on previous centuries. Whoever keep his/her focus on that probably knows nothing about what science became after the beginning of 20th century.

Whoever wants to have a good reading/listening look no further than Richard Feynman copious materials available on net.

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
Richard P. Feynman

Reply Score: 2

science is always political
by unclefester on Fri 20th Jan 2017 08:31 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

The reality is that science is always political. That is why vast amounts of money is spent on glamorous Big Science projects (eg cancer research, sub-atomic physics and space exploration) that produce almost nothing of practical use.(BTW the Apollo missions did not develop Tang, velcro, teflon or barcodes. However cheap and useful research such improving crops, developing new antibiotics or curing parasitic diseases doesn't win votes and is largely ignored.

Reply Score: 2

RE: science is always political
by feamatar on Fri 20th Jan 2017 10:01 UTC in reply to "science is always political"
feamatar Member since:
2014-02-25

Could you provide some statistics about that?


Also, I wonder if you tried to read up anything about current agricultural research for example. There is tons of money flowing into that.

And mind you, it might be true, that velcro, teflon etc. was not connected to NASA, but there are certain technologies that were:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Could you provide some statistics about that?


Also, I wonder if you tried to read up anything about current agricultural research for example. There is tons of money flowing into that.

And mind you, it might be true, that velcro, teflon etc. was not connected to NASA, but there are certain technologies that were:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies



If NASA was a private company it would be prosecuted for fraud for making blatantly false claims about their R&D. Most of those NASA "spinoffs" were pre-existing technologies. At best NASA made a minor contribution to their development.

Reply Score: 2

feamatar Member since:
2014-02-25

Again, please could you point out something in particularly. So far this is all talk, no facts to support your claim.

Edit: also, what is your definition of minor contribution? Is improving on existing products or financing development of existing products is a minor contribution? Or is it measured by the amount of money spent on development? Or is it measured by how disruptive are the results of said development?

Edited 2017-01-20 12:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: science is always political
by Alfman on Sat 21st Jan 2017 16:01 UTC in reply to "science is always political"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

After the tumultuous collapse of the prior decade that saw many people loose their homes, jobs, and savings, millions of people got together in 2011 on wall street to protest the wealthy individuals and corporations who were destroying our economy for their own personal gains. However at the time we lacked organization and our voices remained fragmented. We were mocked by the very elites we were protesting, who drank champagne from their balconies in amusement, not even fifty meters away. But little did they know that change was brewing and in a few years time people would rally around an unlikely hero from Vermont. Bernie Sanders would take the fight to the billionaires as president where his democratically earned votes would give him the mandate to take on the corrupt institutions, politicians, and businessmen who colluded to profit off of the demise of the middle class. Finally the people who've lacked a political voice for so long would have a spokesperson presiding over the highest political office in existence.

Oh wait... wrong universe. In our timeline a billionaire who doesn't pay his share of taxes, outsources production to china, and doesn't even pay working class contractors gets elected by pretending to be someone else. And those corrupt wall street executives are his friends and they get appointed to his administration... damn it.


unclefester,

The reality is that science is always political...


You know, many of us would like to live outside of the influence of politics, but the truth is politics affects everything. A lot of science backed initiatives may soon be taking a back seat under a Trump administration comprising of an alarming number of appointees who openly disdain the agencies they're now tasked with running.

Many people will come out of the woodwork to begin expressing their dissent now after Trump has already won the election, however their democratic influence is gone and by the next election these opinions will be old news. People's timing sucks.

Remember when Thom stayed out of politics? Times change, eh?
http://www.osnews.com/thread?496209
maybe Thom can link in an article about the wall street protests?

Unless they start talking about software patents, I doubt it.


Edited 2017-01-21 16:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

What bugs me
by darknexus on Fri 20th Jan 2017 18:21 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

What bothers me about this whole fiasco is how much people are hinting that the left are any better than the right. I hate those terms in the first place but, since you're all so determined to place everyone in one extreme or another, I'll ask one question:
If the left were so much better, why were we so desperately in need of people such as Snowden and Asange to be willing to risk everything in order to make us aware of the bullshit that went on during both the left and the right's regimes?

Reply Score: 5

RE: What bugs me
by Alfman on Fri 20th Jan 2017 20:13 UTC in reply to "What bugs me"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

darknexus,

What bothers me about this whole fiasco is how much people are hinting that the left are any better than the right. I hate those terms in the first place but, since you're all so determined to place everyone in one extreme or another, I'll ask one question:
If the left were so much better, why were we so desperately in need of people such as Snowden and Asange to be willing to risk everything in order to make us aware of the bullshit that went on during both the left and the right's regimes?


Of course, bad things happen on both watches. But don't make the mistake of assuming we dislike Trump here and elsewhere simply because of "left" being better than the "right". Trump has a shady business history, a poor temperament and regularly exhibits authoritarian tendencies. All these things rub many people the wrong way regardless of his current political affiliation.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What bugs me
by mistersoft on Fri 20th Jan 2017 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE: What bugs me"
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

Agree 100% Alfman.


And I'd never be so presumptious too to think a capable human being couldn't grow into a role, or grow with increased exposure to the other capable advisors and tried and tested structures around him.

However powerful his own ego is, he's not an emotional or intellectual superman, and if those around Trump in both the policital and administrative spheres disagree with some behaviour strongly enough they will push back and reign him in, even subconsciously. You have to hope.


:)

May he do more good than bad. Less guns, more health, less insecure misogyny. Come on Trumpie, Martin Luther had a dream once......And I only hope you had a lot of cheese before bedtime tonight or somebody slipped you a spacecake or something..

Reply Score: 3

RE: What bugs me
by tylerdurden on Sat 21st Jan 2017 03:25 UTC in reply to "What bugs me"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

When it comes to American politics, speaking in terms of left/right is pointless. For all intents and purposes there's not "left" in the American political system. Some sprinkles here and there, but not enough to be of much consequence.

I think Americans tend to be oblivious to how conservative the political system in their country is, and has been from its inception. To the point that what elsewhere in the world would be defined as moderate conservative, many people here refer to it as "left."

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: What bugs me
by ezraz on Sun 22nd Jan 2017 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE: What bugs me"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

When it comes to American politics, speaking in terms of left/right is pointless. For all intents and purposes there's not "left" in the American political system. Some sprinkles here and there, but not enough to be of much consequence.

I think Americans tend to be oblivious to how conservative the political system in their country is, and has been from its inception. To the point that what elsewhere in the world would be defined as moderate conservative, many people here refer to it as "left."


Exactly. The Democrats in the USA pull for basic human rights that most countries have passed long ago.

I'd say about 75% of americans are completely unaware (ignorant) of how anywhere outside of america operates. They were told everyone else was behind america and they believe it because it's easier for them to believe it.

It's much easier for them to not think about much else. It's hard enough to make a living and provide even basic security for your family in modern america. If you are skilled you will replaced by a foreigner making 1/4 the wage. If you aren't skilled you just fall farther and farther behind as the years go by.

Reply Score: 2

Not quite
by tylerdurden on Sat 21st Jan 2017 03:20 UTC
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

Scientism, the belief system, is political. Science is just a method.

Reply Score: 3

Two Party Systems
by delta0.delta0 on Sat 21st Jan 2017 08:43 UTC
delta0.delta0
Member since:
2010-06-01

Frankly these 2 party systems are a joke.

Every few years people get to make a choice based on a bunch of lies or hopes and aspirations (but essentially stuff that turns into lies) of 2 people that spends 100's of millions to get their views publicised. Backed by a specific party.

Of course the responsibility is too much for that 1 person to bear, so they then select a bunch of advisers and these advisers usually have their own agendas.

Its all a massive farce. Trump took this farce to an extreme, he spent his whole campaign spreading complete bullshit, what the people wanted to hear. From one angle he was associating with the neo-nazi right-wing and talking about building a wall between mexico.

On the other hand, his daughter is married to an Orthodox Jew, she herself has converted to Judaism and her husband was Trumps campaign adviser and backer and he is currently his top adviser.

This is just to show you how methodical the guys planning has been. He is not an idiot, any publicity is good publicity.

Some one else already mentioned this, the fear with Trump is the authoritarian streak he has running in him. He finds it easy to fire people, this is no different to dictators wiping people off the map.

I really don't know where he stands with science and the press.

He knows how to use the press to his advantage, but then the truth is all politicians and governments do, this is how they get elected in the first place and frankly most publications hold the same biased view as their owners.

Trump has a massive ego and he has an authoritarian streak - companies are dictatorships. Scientists should be worried, as he will manipulate any data to suit his needs.

In truth I am not too worried about any of this though. The world currently is in a very troubled state, its incredibly fragile.

In the middle east you have religious fundamentalism running rampant, whether it be the orthodox Jews in Israel hell bent on capturing the whole of the Palestine regions as their birth right (how quickly they forget the events of ww2 and the treatment they received from the German Christians). Or you have IS, hell bent on killing anyone not willing to bend to their religion and their way of life (which frankly is barbaric ). This mixed in with a mixture of Dictatorships some pretending to be theocracies (like Iran) some just outright dictatorships. I don't even know how to classify Saudi, its always classified as a US ally, but its internal treatment of people is terrible and it has a huge vested interest in IS. Lets leave that area alone, its just too fragile.

Next we have China. China is a super power, it has become a capitalist dictatorship. It probably has one of the worlds largest well trained armies. Chinese are generally very smart and they own about 7% of the U.S Debt. Trumps anti Chinese rhetoric is really worrying, the last thing you want is China as an enemy. They have never been aggressor though. Chinese have had their own internal conflicts, but they haven't gotten involved in world conflicts as such. How much of Trumps wording is hot air, is he just putting on a good show about China? Like rubbing shoulders with the neo-nazis, or is he honestly going to get into an economic battle with China. He is a businessman, he knows money, I'm worried most of his Chinese rhetoric is actually not hot air, but stuff he plans to do.

Then we have Russia. Russia is maybe not a super power anymore, but it has a massive well trained army. technically advanced and are empire builders. Trump seems to admire Putin, probably because both share similar traits, but how long before these two fall out with each other ? The likely hood is high and the consequence could be dire.

This is why I'm not so much worried about his scientific and political inclinations, but I am worried about how quickly this could all go pear shaped.

Also it just highlights how broken "Democracy" actually is, elections are won by the most convincing liars. Its heavily influenced by financial incentives.

The allusion of free will and freedom, is waved. The only way we will progress, is to leave the old dogmas behind, to stop trying to make ourselves appear better than one another, to accept that we are part of 1 species 1 race and to come together and to work with each other, the planet certainly doesn't care about these stupid borders we have invented. How quickly could we improve our scientific advances if we were not paranoid of each other, but instead worked with one another. How quickly could we wipe out disease and famine if we treated each other as equals, if we stopped building weapons and massive installations to spy on one other but instead spent that money on space research and on medical research. A person can dream.

Reply Score: 3

the verge, a source to doubt
by Janvl on Sun 22nd Jan 2017 09:30 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

it is part of vox-media so . . .

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 22nd Jan 2017 17:47 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

false equivalence is common

"hillary is as bad as donald"

"all politicians use science"

Reply Score: 2