Today, for Earth Day, the "March for Science" served as political theater by which the curtailment of public funding for the environmentalist's pet projects becomes a know-nothing assault on academic science itself. Tyler O'Neil suggests that the rent-seekers get a grip.
Not only do political stunts like the "March for Science" politicize the discipline of studying nature, they also arguably undercut the very process by which science operates — open debate about how to interpret the evidence. When tied to absurd causes like giving legal rights to rivers and asking if peas should be considered persons, they further tarnish science's reputation.
It's a lengthy article, which will reward careful study, and it suggests ways in which the act of doing science undermines any notion of consensus.  It takes better argumentation, and tighter theories, for instance, to undermine the convenient secular commonplaces of Darwin, Freud, and Marx, and that work is under way.  But the marching had its lighter moments.  In Chicago, there were people asserting "Science Is What Makes America Great."  Hang on, is that an endorsement of hegemonic discourses?

No comments: