All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a scientist.
While other girls my age dreamed of becoming singers or actresses, I dreamed of being an ethologist. Science had a luster of nobility and integrity that appealed to me. I wanted to be another Jane Goodall, living outdoors and studying wildlife for months on end. That was the life for me!
I entered college in 1980 and studied zoology. During the summers, I worked enthusiastically as a field assistant to Ph.D. students conducting thesis research on marmots, deer and squirrels. I was thrilled to be involved in real scientific studies.
Life went on. After college, I got a corporate job working in agricultural technology because biology field research jobs were few and far between. But the science itch hadn’t left me, and seven years after graduating from college my husband and I moved to Oregon, in part to continue my education.
Life went on. I got my Master’s degree in Environmental Education. We started a home woodworking business. I got pregnant with our first child, then our second. I worked seasonally as a field biologist for several years (spotted owls, red tree voles, goshawks, etc.) while we juggled work to keep our girls out of day care. As family life took priority and my attention became diverted elsewhere, my involvement in science became distant. But the appeal never faded.
That’s why it is with sorrow that I realize a significant amount of scientific research is corrupt and fraudulent. How can that be?
In an essay entitled “How government corrupts science,” Dr. Arthur Robinson defines a scientist – a true scientist – as “a person who seeks the truth about the world we can see by means of direct observations of that world. He often originates hypotheses about how the things in the world work and then tests those hypotheses with experiments and observations. Entirely on the basis of experiments or observations, he refines or rejects hypotheses and extends his knowledge.”
Most people don’t enter science to defraud. Most enter for the same reasons I did – a desire to learn new things about the natural world. Then how can something as elemental as science become corrupt?
Much of the blame can be laid at the feet of government. If government funds research, then the research results must (almost by definition) reflect the government’s agenda. The sad truth is many federally funded scientists have become political lackeys, spouting whatever nonsense the government says they should spout and giving it the veneer of credibility because of a few letters after their names.
We tend to elevate scientists to towering status because they possess great knowledge and have the ability to draw conclusions based on unbiased data. We think just because someone has academic credentials, his methods are sound, his ethics above reproach and his conclusions infallible.
But such is not always the case. It’s the old rule of “Follow the money.” Just as we would never trust data concluding that smoking is harmless if the only study was conducted by Phillip Morris, so we must logically deduce that any studies funded by the government only conclude what the government wants us to see – regardless of the truth.
Of course not all scientists are fraudulent. To make such a statement would be, well, scientifically inaccurate. But the honest scientists are often pummeled into silence and refused publishing opportunities if they deviate from the authorized agenda. We only hear from the corrupt scientists – the political lackeys – because the mainstream media are ignorant of the Scientific Method, and, being in the pocket of the government, they report only what the government gives them to report. Even peer-reviewed scientific journals are not immune to suppressing papers that disagree with a predetermined agenda.
What a mess.
Of course this is nothing new, as Dr. Robinson points out. Take just about any famous scientist in history and see how oppression from governing authorities reduced his ability to report conclusions based on what he observed.
But we like to think we live in a more enlightened age … which we do, unless you happen to be a scientist who disagrees with the prevailing views of the government. And the trouble is, there is so much “research” (if you can call it that) funded by government that scientists cannot offend their supporters without losing their funding (and livelihood).
The classic example is global warming. We have been told for years that there is a “consensus” among scientists that human-caused global warming is a fact. Robinson notes that “Astonishingly, there are no experimental or observational facts that support the hypothesis of catastrophic human-caused global warming – not even one. This hypothesis is supported entirely by computer models that do not conform to experiment.” [Italics in original]
Robinson points out how “scientists” disregard or ignore anything that conflicts with their predetermined conclusions. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of falsified climate data to “prove” global warming … because the government wants global warming proved. “Such hysteria,” writes Richard Lindzen, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth.” [Emphasis added]
In fact, “a petition by scientists trying to tell the world that the political and media portrayal of global warming is false was put forward in the Heidelberg Appeal in 1992. Today, more than 4,000 signatories, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, from 106 countries have signed it.” Why haven’t the mainstream media reported this?
Not all science is controversial or influenced by government opinion even if it is government funded – merely those fields that can add to government power grabs and reduce our personal liberties (light bulbs, cap-and-trade, etc.).
I grieve that science is no longer the lofty and noble endeavor I once thought it was. I still believe in the purity of the Scientific Method and the wonders that true and honest scientists have discovered.
But remember: “Whoever controls the environmental rules controls the economy and our choices.” Beware of “science” that is determined only to “prove” things that can enslave us.