Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Update on Tyson quotes

I mentioned Neil Tyson getting caught using some bogus quotes, and now a NY Times op-ed puts a charitable spin on it:
The science of memory distortion has become rigorous and reliable enough to help guide public policy. It should also guide our personal attitudes and actions. In Dr. Tyson’s case, once the evidence of his error was undeniable, he didn’t dig his hole deeper or wish the controversy away. He realized that his memory had conflated his experiences of two memorable and personally significant events that both involved speeches by Mr. Bush. He probably still remembers it the way he described it in his talks — but to his credit, he recognizes that the evidence outweighs his experience, and he has publicly apologized.

Dr. Tyson’s decision is especially apt, coming from a scientist. Good scientists remain open to the possibility that they are wrong, and should question their own beliefs until the evidence is overwhelming. We would all be wise to do the same. ...

Politicians should respond as Dr. Tyson eventually did: Stop stonewalling, admit error, note that such things happen, apologize and move on.
Eventually? I don't want to beat a dead horse, but the only one to call Tyson on his quotes was not even mentioned in this article, due to editing. It was TheFederalist blog, and it fills in the details. It will be interesting to see whether he continues to use the misquotes.

1 comment:

  1. If you can't tell the difference between your fantasies and your facts, you aren't a very good scientist. Tyson should be very embarrassed that he let his partisan political sentiments slander a president, and fabricate a straw man to ridicule in the absence of actual evidence.