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Science and scientism

A big reason Don’t Look Up didn’t sit right with me was its simplistic view of the scientific consensus. “Listen to the goddamn qualified scientists…” bellows Ariana Grande paternalistically.

Meanwhile, qualified scientists from reputable institutions of higher education act as petty and vindictive prima donnas. The linked article is one scientist’s story of having to suffer through years of academic harassment for publishing a paper that rubbed some of her fellow researchers the wrong way. From the abstract:

A naïve researcher published a scientific article in a respectable journal. She thought her article was straightforward and defensible. It used only publicly available data, and her findings were consistent with much of the literature on the topic. Her coauthors included two distinguished statisticians. To her surprise her publication was met with unusual attacks from some unexpected sources within the research community. These attacks were by and large not pursued through normal channels of scientific discussion. Her research became the target of an aggressive campaign that included insults, errors, misinformation, social media posts, behind-the-scenes gossip and maneuvers, and complaints to her employer. The goal appeared to be to undermine and discredit her work.

Goddamn scientists indeed.

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