By Andrew Follett
A Harvard physician thought the recent “March For Science” looked more like a religious event than one to promote the value of the scientific method.
“Being ‘pro-science’ has become a bizarre cultural phenomenon in which liberals (and other members of the cultural elite) engage in public displays of self-reckoned intelligence as a kind of performance art, while demonstrating zero evidence to justify it,” Dr. Jeremy Faust, a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, wrote in Slate.
“There was an uncomfortable dronelike fealty to the concept — an oxymoronic faith that information presented and packaged to us as Science need not be further scrutinized before being smugly celebrated en masse,” Faust wrote. “That is not intellectually rigorous thought — instead, it’s another kind of religion, and it is perhaps as terrifying as the thing it is trying to fight.”
Faust said marchers are wrong about what’s really imperiling science — it’s not attacks from the public and political class, but attacks from within.
“The scientific method itself is already under constant attack from within the scientific community itself and is ceaselessly undermined by its so-called supporters, including during marches like those on Saturday,” Faust wrote.
Faust points out that academics are under serious financial pressure to rapidly and continually publish research to sustain or further their careers, even if the research is essentially useless or misleading. Academics have an enormous financial incentive to engage in dubious laboratory research. This has even prompted major scientific journals like Nature to ask “Is Science Broken?”