George Will Attacks Scientists, Jonathan Chait Retorts

George Will attacks:

There is a sociology of science. Scientists are not saints in white laboratory smocks. They have got interests like everybody else. If you want a tenure-track position in academia, don’t question the reigning orthodoxy on climate change. If you want money from the biggest source of direct research in this country, the federal government, don’t question its orthodoxy. If you want to get along with your peers, conform to peer pressure. This is what’s happening.

Jonathan Chait retorts:

Will is arguing that climate scientists have been massively corrupted by federal funding and peer pressure. (“They have got interests like everybody else.”) He does not consider the countervailing power of opposing financial interests that might lure scientists to question of the scientific consensus, such as the lucrative funding made available in the right-wing think-tank world. He likewise discounts the possibility that scientists would find the lure of being proven eventually correct to be a powerful reputational incentive, let alone that they would actually care enough about being right to disregard social and financial pressure. If Will has any specific sense of how these social pressures survived the rigors of the scientific method and peer review, he does not explicate them.

Round one: Chait.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to George Will Attacks Scientists, Jonathan Chait Retorts

  1. laura says:

    Proof that ignorance is lethal. Climate change deniers would have us all go to hell because they live with their heads in the sand.

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