PRO-SPOOFERS: The Assault on Scientific Integrity

The TV advertisement flogging a hot new anti-X drug has either a real scientist in the person of a physician or a pseudo-scientist in the form of a glib, marketing professional telling us how vital this new medicine is for our well being. Most of us have been raised to regard men and women in those long, white clinical coats with their earnest and compassionate demeanor as some of the most trusted people on Earth. Now we are learning that in many cases, not all, but many of those icons of veracity and concern are professional spoofers. It is cataclysmic even when the spoofing is restricted to the medical and pharmaceutical sciences, but today, all science is a potential victim.

Whether it is the weather (climate change and global warming), nuclear energy, clean air and water or the accuracy of science topics presented in school to our children, there is clear evidence of spoofing. This is not the babble of the deranged, this is the carefully orchestrated false information presented as hard, cold scientific fact. Yes, scientists and scientific organizations quickly move to disprove or correct both public and scientific information about the spoofed topics, but this often appears to the public as an ongoing argument between warring scientists. Furthermore the public often regards both scientists and the science they are striving to preserve as petty intellectual bickering and are dismissed. As a result, citizen indifference to scientific advances and knowledge remains strong.

Good grief, in this blossoming age of science and technology the last thing we need is a disbelieving, non-supportive society that generally cold-shoulders science. Yes, there is a history of renowned scientists (Sagan, Feynman, deGrasse-Tyson and others) who have or are directly addressing citizen distrust of science. We need more, and we need it available to the young at an early age. That is beginning to happen, but is not enough alone. The scientific community must take direct action to expose and hold accountable those professional spoofers and their sponsoring organizations. This must be done in a very organized, highly legal, and publicly understandable manner.

The “warring scientists” image must be dispelled. Natural scientific disputes over a new hypothesis is healthy and vital. The scientific community must go out of its way to instruct the public on the difference between testing a hypothesis and disputing spoofed science. This calls for more public interaction between scientists and citizens. Many scientists, deep in their own research, find this a major distraction and often intensely frustrating. This is where there should be a cooperative relationship between scientist and publicist with the publicist concentrating on presenting fact in an understandable manner with a severe and total absence of hype. This too is being done, but again needs major expansion; especially into the political world where hype and spoof dominate.

Science and all of its discoveries and revelations should be revered by all. It comprises an immense assurance that we are real, that our world is real and that all that surrounds us is dynamically real and compelling. Science should be joyous understanding for the citizen and joyous explorations and discoveries for the scientist. This interaction with the cosmos when presented clearly and enthusiastically is reassuring and reaffirms the vitality of all life here and beyond. In this setting there is no room for spoofing.

Explore posts in the same categories: Humankind and Exploration

2 Comments on “PRO-SPOOFERS: The Assault on Scientific Integrity”

  1. Absolutely awesome! Your use of the word “joyous” is refreshing and right on target. Storytelling is a major form of communicating personal experience. It helps the non-science and non-technological public connect on a visceral level, which can lead up to the conscious level.

    • XiNeutrino Says:

      Thank you for your very encouraging comment. I , of course, agree completely with you. There are so many areas of confusion, suspicion, spoofing that pushes the public away from accepting science as a vital part of life and our continuing progress on this planet. We need to gently bring them on board, and of course encourage our youth to follow the sciences as both goals and careers. Thank you again.

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