4.) The Mask of Neutrality
Martin Rezny
41

Doing science has consequences because it affects people’s beliefs, politics, and economy, it can even include statements about identity, and in the case of weapons or technologies of control, it can directly and literally destroy lives or the world.

Human activity or even non-acting in any form has consequences because it affects people’s beliefs, politics and economy, and it most definetively can destroy lives.

Now I am a scientist, and as I came to discover what this reality entails, I am agreeing with many concerns that you offer.

Politial science is easily corruptible by its very subject matter and all the related vested interests and biases, just like economy.

The term “science” is more than ever synonymous with “science industry”, and scientists are part of this industry. And like any big industry or institution, the separation of economic or political factors is almost impossible. Does that mean we should stop believing in science?

Now personally, I came to science always over a perspective of doubt, and the love for wisdom. Naturally, I value philosophy highly because I believe it teaches invaluable tools dealing with life as well as for doing science, and it helps guide our strive for knowledge and truth. What I discovered is that there is a certain percentage of people, no matter their industry or occupation, that possess qualities of critical thinkers, however there is an abundance of people that does not belong to this group, even in the “science industry”.

If you are driven by career motivation, you better research and produce results that fit the wishes of the powerful, mostly for us this means publishing stories in scientific journals that the editors want to see and promote. Some findings might be true, but since there is like 70% of research not reproducible, one might assume that a lot is deeply biased. Also there is always overstatements of one’s research importence, just because something is correlated with cancer does not mean that it’s causing it or even significantly detrimental to you. But it makes a good story for the individual wanting to advance his career, and that’s why there is so much:

Milk is good, eggs are bad. No wait, it’s the other way round!

Now usually, and beautifully, science is self correcting as things-that-do-not-work get replaced by things-that-work over time, and that’s why we have now the internet and smart phones and so on; these things came out of models that include testable/falsifyable predictions and not so much trial and error.

Our brain does not deal well with conflicting information, and I think much trouble comes with many people’s reluctance to adjust their beliefs once they formed, and to understand that science is a process approximating true knowledge, but never being done and finished. True scientists are knowledge seekers and don’t struggle much to re-adjust their paradigms once convincing evidences surface, and thus are hopefully less dogmatic and more sceptical to authoritarian claims.

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