Monday, June 7, 2021

The Current War on Science

Science and medicine are being politicized, and there are so many examples that it is tiresome to list them.

During the Trump administration, it was common to hear academic and news media complaints that he was anti-Trump. But they never had any examples of acting against accepted research or not funding mainstream science programs.

Anthony Fauci was interviewed on Science Friday. He has been embarrassed by emails, but those emails are not that much different from his public statements. He has said a long list of foolish and unscientific things.

Friday he talked about AIDS a lot. He tried to blame it on Pres. Ronald Reagan. He tried to say it was not a gay disease, as proved by Magic Johnson getting it. (Johnson was rumored to be participating in dangerous homosexual practices, even before the AIDS story.)

Fauci and other experts have told us for a year that the coronavirus could not have been a Wuhan lab leak, when that is still the most plausible explanation.

Here is an essay onWhat Happens When Doctors Can't Tell the Truth?

Here is a paper by a Black woman a PhD from the Perimeter Institute, home to a lot of crackpot physics:

To provide an example of the role that white empiricism plays in physics, I discuss the current debate in string theory about postempiricism, motivated in part by a question: why are string theorists calling for an end to empiricism rather than an end to racial hegemony? I believe the answer is that knowledge production in physics is contingent on the ascribed identities of the physicists. ...

For these reasons, the area of quantum gravity, a physics subdiscipline considered by many to be the pinnacle of physics prestige, objectivity, universality, and culturelessness, is a natural starting point for a discussion about how social prestige asymmetries affect epistemic outcomes in physics. Ultimately, the discourse about the quantum gravity model of string theory provides an example of how white supremacist racial prestige asymmetry produces an antiempiricist epistemic practice among physicists, white empiricism. In string theory, we find an example wherein extremely speculative ideas that require abandoning the empiricist core of the scientific method and which are endorsed by white scientists are taken more seriously than the idea that Black women are competent observers of their own experiences.

Maybe the Perimeter Institute considers quantum gravity to be "the pinnacle of physics prestige, objectivity", but nothing good has ever come out of that subject.

Environmentalism has been hopelessly politicized for years. If they really cared about global warming, their top priorities would be building nuclear power plants and blocking Third World immigration into the First World.

Larry Krauss has a decent defense of objective science in Quillette. He is probably also a Trump-hating leftist, but I cite him to show that not all academics have bought into the current nonsense.

Authors are constantly chastened for terminology. I see Scott Aaronson still uses "quantum supremacy", but probably only because he has tenure and his enemies have other grounds for attacking him.

Reason reports:

Last month, the Journal of Hospital Medicine published an article titled, "Tribalism: The Good, the Bad, and the Future." It proposed strategies for medical professionals to overcome some of the natural group clustering that occurs in any large workspace: launch interdepartmental projects, socialize outside of the office, etc.
The paper was recalled, and the authors had to put out this apology:
From this experience, we learned that the words "tribe" and "tribalism" have no consistent meaning, are associated with negative historical and cultural assumptions, and can promote misleading stereotypes.4 The term "tribe" became popular as a colonial construct to describe forms of social organization considered "uncivilized" or "primitive." In using the term "tribe" to describe members of medical communities, we ignored the complex and dynamic identities of Native American, African, and other Indigenous Peoples and the history of their oppression.
This is ridiculous, as tribe is a perfectly good word. The authors ended up substituting "silo" for "tribe", but that has a less suitable meaning.

Update: Just today, here is a SciAm article complaining that physicians often note racial info, as it is correlated with an assortment of medical problems:

Yet, a tool used daily by almost every physician, the history of present illness (HPI), may still perpetuate medical racism. ...

Physicians often determine racial and ethnic labels themselves rather than asking patients to self-identify. ...

Beyond the issue of physicians using inaccurate racial labels, research has proven what scholars like W.E.B. Du Bois and Derrick Bell stated for decades: race is a social construct. ...

By using this outdated practice, physicians may be reinforcing the incorrect idea that race differentiation holds scientific value instead of being a clumsy artifact of the profession. ...

But, if physicians are truly trying to discern if patients are carriers of genetic allelic variants ..., then genetic mapping should be used in high-risk patients. ...

To be clear, a “color-blind” approach is not ideal either.

It seems clear that these people will cry racism no matter what the physicians do.

Update: Another example of one-sided politicization:

Well, the latest scientific journal or magazine to go to hell in a handbasket is Scientific American, which under the editorial guidance of Laura Helmuth has published a putrid piece of pure pro-Palestinian propaganda. It’s an op-ed piece apparently written by a group of Palestinian BDS activists (one author wishes to be anonymous). purveying the usual distortions, omissions, and outright lies.  If there were a counter piece refuting those lies (there is below, but not at Sci Am), it would be somewhat better, but not much. Instead, the op-ed is linked to a Google Document petition (surely not posted by Sci Am) that you can sign in solidarity with Palestine.

First of all, a science magazine has no business taking an ideological stand like this, particularly one replete with lies and distortions. What was Scientific American thinking? Do they fancy themselves to be Mother Jones?

And here is a recent Nature magazine editorial promoting leftist racial nonsense.

Update: From "Meet the Press Daily":

"So if you are trying to get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you're really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you're attacking science. And anybody that looks at what is going on, clearly sees that, you have to be asleep not to see that. That is what going on," he added.

"Science and the truth are being attacked," Fauci concluded.

He is the highest paid US govt officil, and he certainly needs to be accountable to criticism.

No comments:

Post a Comment