Polywater Science

News Flash: Scientists are human, too!

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/11/polywater_history_and_science_mistakes_the_u_s_and_ussr_raced_to_create.single.html

Above is a great article which illustrates exactly why people should remember their daily dose of skepticism whenever scientists start talking. I point this out because, first of all, science is brought in – usually in the form of dubious studies and biology lessons – when talking about social policy and other issues which should be understood as subjective and cultural by nature. Also, the political left has a strong tendency to see the science as irrevocably on its side, and therefore to characterize them too generously. Particularly when people start talking about environmental issues of all kinds, it’s scientists that are good and decent and dedicated to the truth, while businessmen have hearts as dark as the power suits they wear.

That’s just another manipulation of people’s perception. The world is, I’m quite sure, more complex than that, and while everyone thinks they’re doing the right thing, we can’t even agree on how to define the right thing, let alone how to analyze human action within the context of a winning formula. In this mess, scientists are just like everyone else: self-interested, block-headed, eminently fallible.

Calling such people evil is meaningless, but calling them stupid is safer than a Volvo.

Look out for polywater science.

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