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I have, for several times, tried to raise here issues that the "scientific" process in predicative science (be it epidemiology, climate or finance - though not engineering) leaves much to be desired.

I have absolutely no axe to grind in the issue of climate science.

I find it "interesting" that people lower there level of critical reasoning when the source of their information is a "sacred cow". The fundamentalist pattern exhibited by some religious people can be found by some other people wrt the "scientific" process.

Wake up people! Nobody is asking you to become "climate change deniers", just to exercise critical reasoning with everything, and not take what comes from whatever source like the gospel.

There are several SEVERE problems with modern science. It is an environment taken by brutal neo-liberal competition where confidentiality and closeness is king. Job security (the ability to get a tenure, that is) is minimal, places are limited and people have to fight for it and sometimes things get rough. There is a strong sense of hierarchy. Furthermore too much specialization is a plague, many people are totally focused on their tiny topic (for which they will try to get the maximum funding) and no nothing more. I have never met so many people with such low awareness about the world around them like scientists.

People are forced to "prop up" their claims. Don't you find strange that, eg, in disease fields there is so much predicative science promising to eliminate or eradicate a disease in 4 years (Confidence interval +- 1, 3 months and 10 days)? Do you really believe a paper that states that disease X will be eliminated from a place in very precise time frame is the proposals written there are enacted? Papers stating this are easy to be found is respected and influential scientific journals, just go ahead and search.

I eagerly await the name bashing and ad-hominem comments from this simple proposal to use your critical reasoning...

FYI, I am a PhD student with more quite a few scientific pubs and a reasonable number of citations.

I know I am not being very rich in concrete examples, but I find it not a good idea to write them in a public forum. But if we ever meet face-to-face just ask me for examples and pointers. I would be delighted to back my claims with evidence. Just not in writing.

by t-------------- on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 03:01:21 PM EST

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