Contemporary pronouncements by official agencies and by professional associations and their journals about matters of science, including issues of great public importance, have become significantly contrary to the actual facts on an increasing range of topics. This seems incredible in light of the historical successes of science which led to the widespread view of modern science as evidence-based and self-correcting. But that view fails to recognize the degree to which “science” has morphed from the vocation of a relatively small number of intellectual entrepreneurs to a vast enterprise driven by motives other than truth-seeking, enmeshed in a host of institutional as well as personal conflicts of interest. A vicious circle: Minority views are dismissed because “Science” is always trusted, thereby suppressing the evidence that “Science” is not always to be trusted. HIV/ AIDS is an outstanding illustration of officially accepted views persisting for decades despite being obviously contrary to fact.
Henry Bauer is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry & Science Studies and Emeritus Dean of Arts & Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech). Earlier he worked at the Universities of Sydney, Michigan, Southampton, and Kentucky. Austrian by birth, he was educated in Australia and became a US citizen in 1969. His publications include a dozen books; CV with full details at www.henryhbauer.homestead.com. His interest in heterodoxies began with the Loch Ness Monster, which led to learning about the Velikovsky Affair, which led to acquaintance with Marcello Truzzi and introduction to and joining with the founders of SSE.
Recorded at the 34th annual SSE Conference in 2015 at the Hilton Washington DC/Rockville hotel.
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Published on November 19, 2018