The War for Science


#1

The War for Science is from the Scientific American blog, written by Jonathan Foley. Foley is the Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. He serves on Scientific American’s board of advisers. It explains why thousands of scientists and science supporters will be leaving their labs and hitting the streets on Saturday for the March for Science.

Foley explains, “It’s more than a skirmish over funding, censorship, and ‘alternative facts’—it’s a battle for basic decency, the people we love, and the future of our planet.”

@sfmatheson will be participating. (He also supported the march for women, even though he failed the physical.) Thanks, Steve!


(Curtis Henderson) #2

Thanks for sharing, @beaglelady. The essay was both short and inspiring. And thanks @sfmatheson (and any others of you out there!) for participating in this important stand.


#3

And wouldn’t you know it? According to Matt Young,

"the Discovery Institute is teaming up with the Heritage Foundation for a provocative event in which they will characterize the March for Science as a march for conformity or a march for scientism. In other words, they will describe the overarching scientific consensus on, say, evolution or anthropogenic climate change as mere expressions of scientific conformity or, when all else fails, accuse the real experts of “scientism.”
The principal purveyors of such anti-science will be Stephen Meyer, Jay Richards, and Wesley Smith of the Discovery Institute, and Katie Tubb of the Heritage Foundation.


(George Brooks) #4

@beaglelady

What beverage do you recommend when one has a lingering taste of bile in the back of your mouth?


(Steve Schaffner) #5

I find sour grapes to be a good palate cleanser.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #6

After reading this call to arms regarding the war on science, I think I understand the opposition a lot better … and can see why things won’t be improving any time soon. While there was some to commend this essay, I saw much in it that continues to unnecessarily foment and perpetuate said war. And that was looking at it with friendly eyes! As in I agree there is a war on science (among other things) and that we would do well to stop it. But this essay is a virtual call to arms for the other side. It would be like stepping up to the mic at a rally that was ostensibly supposed to promote the democratic party and announcing to the nation “vote for us – we will come take all your guns away!”. Good idea? Perhaps. Politically savvy? Hardly (unless you were an undercover republican) – your message would be a gift-wrapped early Christmas present for the republican party.

It’s starting to make me wonder if those of us who are true friends of science might be nearly extinct by now. Anybody out there? Hello?


(Curtis Henderson) #7

As “the kids” say, I “lol’d” in my office @gbrooks9!! Luckily, it is late enough in the afternoon that no one seems to have noticed my outburst. On a serious note, it is really difficult to be charitable sometimes, but I will take a deep breath and try my best.


#8

The author does point out that,

Until recently, science has enjoyed deep, bipartisan support from elected officials. Thoughtful leaders on both sides of the aisle—from Teddy Roosevelt to Truman, Kennedy to Nixon, George H.W. Bush to Obama—have used science to guide our country forward.

But he might have also pointed out that some anti-science comes from the left; e.g. the anti-vax debacle.

Are you familiar with Evolution Story? It’s another science and religion site. Its goal is “Ending the Christian Holy War on science”


(Mervin Bitikofer) #9

Good points. And while I hadn’t visited the site you link under that name, I think I have heard of and read materials from Day Star Research. I remember being favorably impressed with their material. It seems to be a good cause over all.

In all fairness to those who feel targeted by these efforts, they will continue to insist that their war isn’t on science but on evolution. Those who see evolution as now inextricably part of science refuse to acknowledge any distinction, of course. A more detached point of view then is that it may be more a war about labels. But at the end of the day here I agree with you – it ends up being a defacto war against science despite their insistence otherwise.