[LINK] Science under attack

Frank O'Connor francisoconnor3 at bigpond.com
Tue Feb 21 05:56:35 AEDT 2012

Check out http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/02/climate-desk-michael-mann/all/1

It's a re-print of a recent Guardian article that I read a couple of days back, that I can't seem to find on the Guardian site again.

Science generally and climate scientists in particular are being pressured by various fossil fuel and other polluting industry bodies through the use of PR, industry owned or supported media, 'think tanks' and ignorant but self-interested politicians. They seem to have no problem rejecting the science, the scientific method, scientific objectivity, the evidence and the consensus of scientific experts ... and are pressuring and bullying leaders in the field to advance their interests.

If I was the scientific fraternity I'd take this damn seriously. The idea that scientific enquiry can be regulated and controlled by politics and narrowly defined short term economic gain makes a nonsense of the discipline that advanced society so far in the last three or four hundred years.  

I'd suggest establishing a fighting fund on the Web that anyone could contribute to, to produce advertising material and campaigns to explain to Joe/Josephine Public exactly what in his/her current life he/she owes to science - technology, communications, transport, medicine, food, shelter, warmth, water, etc etc. 

I'd name and shame the various industries, industry bodies, personnel and PR firms and 'think tanks' who are threatening the impartiality and objectivity of science and scientists. I'd name and shame politicians, PR bunnies, lobbyists, support firms, media and communications enterprises, 'researchers', think tanks and journalists who take a consistently anti-science stance. I'd take out advertisements during election campaigns actively campaigning against politicians and candidates who go along with anti-science positions, who support the polluters and take campaign funding from those who support threatening scientists.

I'd ask my members to withdraw their services/advice from corporations/industries/governments/special interests that show such a contempt for science. They think they can get along without science and scientists ... fine, let them try.

Over the last few years the attacks on science, objectivity and rationality have increased ... money, power, extremist politics, extremist religion and irrationality are in the ascension. (And this despite the fact that those same forces have led us closer and closer to the abyss ... these people have feet of clay extroadinaire ... and the the public collectively must have the memory of a gold fish, the attention span of a canary on cocaine, and the gullibility of a tot to be taken in by them time and again.)

If science wants to survive, it's got to fight back.

Just my 2 cents worth ...

More information about the Link mailing list