John Stossel explains with examples in his Town Hall article Scientific ‘Integrity’. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
“Trust the science,” say the media. Polls show that fewer Americans do. There’s good reason for that.
“They don’t trust science because science is increasingly untrustworthy,” says science writer Andrew Follet in my new video. “The only group that trusts science right now is Democrats.” Sixty-four percent of Democrats have “a great deal” of confidence in the scientific community, compared to 34% of Republicans.
Of course, true science — using the scientific method — is important. But that’s not what much of “science” is these days.
Instead, today government science is misused by progressive politicians.
Example 1: Environmental activists want to limit commercial fishing. They want Congress to pass what they call the “Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act.” It claims climate change is the “greatest threat to America’s national security” and offers a dubious solution: close more of the ocean to commercial fishing.
The administration’s deputy director of Climate, Jane Lubchenco, told Congress that a scientific paper concludes that closing more of the ocean can actually increase catches of fish.
Really? That doesn’t seem logical. It isn’t. The paper was retracted. One scientist called its logic “biologically impossible.” Also, Lubchenco’s didn’t tell Congress that the paper was written by her brother-in-law! And edited by her!
Did the White House punish Lubchenco for her ethics violations? No. In fact, after her testimony, she was appointed co-head of President Joe Biden’s Scientific Integrity Task Force!
Last week, the National Academy of Sciences banned her for five years. Yet she’s still on the White House’s Scientific Integrity Task Force.
Sadly, much of what’s called science today is simply left-wing advocacy.
“New fields like fat studies, African studies, Latinx studies, queer studies,” says Follet, “are essentially entirely fake.” Fake? Well, they must be. “Experts” in those fields keep being fooled by people who submit gibberish.
Example 2: Fat Studies
A ridiculous paper, “Embracing Fatness as Self-Care in the Era of Trump,” was accepted by Massey University’s “Fat Studies” conference. The conference then invited the paper’s author, “Sea Matheson,” to speak.
Attendees gave Matheson’s speech rave reviews, praising the paper’s description of Donald Trump’s “fatphobia” and inviting Matheson to review other work submitted to their “scientific” journal, Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society.
But Matheson is no scientist. “She” is actually comedian Steven Crowder, who disguised himself as an overweight woman to expose “ivory tower quackery.”
Crowder is just the latest person to fool today’s so-called science journals. James Lindsay, Peter Boghossian and Helen Pluckrose submitted nonsense papers to “grievance studies” journals like Fat Studies, Sexuality & Culture and Sex Roles.
Seven accepted ridiculous papers.
One that took a section of “Mein Kampf” but replaced references to “National Socialism” with “feminism,” was accepted by Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.
Gender, Place and Culture accepted a paper that claimed there is rape culture at dog parks.
Follett blames this perversion of science on government. Its science agencies, like much of America, have been taken over by leftists hungry to promote themselves and their agenda.
In science, the way to promote yourself is to get papers published. That often gets you more funding. Government agencies like the National Science Foundation provide most of that funding.
“Nobody wants to publish something that goes against the paymaster,” says Follett. “You don’t get published unless the NSF likes your results.”
Example 3: The NSF gave nearly half a million dollars to a team that wrote a paper questioning glacier science because it “stems from knowledge created by men.”
Absurdities are pushed by the right, too. .Some people still claim that man plays no part in climate change or that the climate isn’t warming at all. Some say vaccines don’t work. But the right’s junk science doesn’t get backed by government funds.
I’m angry that my tax dollars go to support leftist nonsense.
Unfortunately, most Americans don’t care. That’s probably because they don’t know that government throws so much money at ridiculous progressive advocacy.
“We’ll all start caring when the bridges start falling down and the planes start crashing,” says Follet. “That’s the inevitable end result of this.”
See also Trust Me, I’m a Scientist. Really?
See also Why Federalized Science is Rotten
To think clearly, one must distinguish between “science” and “pseudoscience.” In his book entitled “The psychology of Totalitarianism,” Mattis Desmet” provides a psychological basis for making this distinction. In particular, pseudoscientific thinking is intolerant of descent whereas scientific thinking is tolerant of descent. Desmet is a professor of clinical psychology.
Pseudoscientists express their intolerance of descent by attempts at “canceling” the arguments of their opponents. A contractor to the government of the United States cancelled my ability to argue to the House Committee on the Climate Crisis that the apparent “crisis” resulted from an application of the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness under which an “abstract” event of the future for Earth’s climate system is mistaken for a “concrete” event of the future where an “abstract” event of the future lacks a location in space and time while a “concrete” event of the future has such a location. “Abstract” events of the future form statistical populations but “concrete” events of the future do not do so. The pretext that was used by the above referenced contractor to the government in cancelling my ability to present my argument to the House Committee on the Climate Crisis was that I had violated its terms of service.