Science Running Amok

 

 

By Sigrid Weidenweber

Not long ago we trusted scientific information because its teachings were based on facts, gathered by trustworthy individuals seeking scientific evidence to problems. Evidence that can be replicated in multiple setting in different laboratories. However, I published already on November 4, 2018 an article entitled Academia Running Amok. In this article I talked about sham-science and the many papers published in academic publications, stating facts that cannot be verified with replication or withstand a peer-review.

And yet, we found that such academic publications are often left on view as if they were true science, even if ridiculed by peers. You may remember it was a team of properly credentialed scientists who perpetrated a few hoaxes to show that many academic publications will print anything without verification if they like the political slant of the paper. I remember that this was one of my funniest articles because of the subject matter, an article you can still request from the Citizen’s Journal.

Well, that was then. But here we are again. In the January 13, 2020 edition of the Wall Street Journal academician Peter W. Wood brings up the same stated concerns and many more new ones. He reports on a conference to be held by the Independence Institute in Oakland California in early February, concerning itself with the problems of irreproducibility in the sciences, the fake science or failed science, or something-is-missing science. It is a huge problem these days but since no one knows what do to do about it or even addresses the problem, a group of scholars agreed to exchange ideas and find ways to deal with the problem at this conference. The conference is titled Fixing Science: Practical Solutions for the Irreproducibility crisis.

What happened though, was that “Cancel Culture Comes to Science,” (the title of Peter W. Wood’s article,) came to the fore.

As he states it: one scientist, “armed with a keyboard and contempt for contrary opinions,” has set out to cancel this conference. That Person, Leonid Teytelman, has written to scheduled speakers, warning them away from the event. He has found a few fellow censors who find the conference problematic. This one scholar, if he is one, has an agenda, targeting the conference which is set on finding and filtering out faulty research. Why? Does Mr. Teytelman like bad science? Is he in favor of politicized research? It seems, that this is the political drift of this group—opposing the cleansing of sham science and its publication.

Peter W. Wood and company are suddenly in the middle of a twitter-storm. Wikipedia describes the scientists a conservative organization. They are accused of climate denialism, of being a group that has, oh horror, invited a few climate change-sceptics to speak.

Peter W. Wood calls that Cancel Culture, a culture, insisting that no scientific conference can be held if the right number of women is lacking, or if they do not like the topic. Group-think, and compromising science in favor of identity politics is the goal of the opposing party that is demonizing dissent with prevailing faulty and unscientific ideas.

We wish Peter Wood and his confreres the best of luck.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.


 Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology.  She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans.  Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer. You can find her books on Amazon.com


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