by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Sumantra Maitra writes for the Martin Center about responsibility for declining faith in science and its outcomes.
In an essay in the liberal UK broadsheet The Guardian, multiple authors chart out the most important task for the incoming Biden administration: to “restore the faith in science.”
“Joe Biden’s most important promise to the American people was a policy platform taken for granted prior the Trump presidency: believe science,” the article suggests, adding that “Restoring trust in science will not be simple after four years of lies, half-truths, misdirections and conspiracy theories.”
Days later, the academic journal Nature was under pressure from a concerted effort because it dared to publish a paper showing that “increasing the proportion of female mentors is associated not only with a reduction in post-mentorship impact of female protégés, but also a reduction in the gain of female mentors.”
Why are those two instances important? Because lately, oblivious to the internal contradictions, a section of the elite is determined to restore faith and trust in a somewhat religious idea of “science” as long as the conclusions adhere to a Whiggish liberal worldview.
Conversely, it is also that same section of elites that are opposed to any scientific conclusions that contradict their worldview. That makes this whole charade a sort of faith-based activism, where the definition of “science” is somewhat of a mystery. …
… Science is, naturally, not a deity to be believed or trusted. Having faith in something renders it a form of theology, not theory. Science depends on critique, skepticism, and a willingness to challenge long-held beliefs, be they scientific consensus, morality, or something else.
But science as a process is challenged by this clueless idea that one has to have “faith” in science. Yet it is gaining traction and forms the foundation of the politicization of science.