A prof shreds Fauci’s “attacking me is attacking science” canard…

Last week, Rasmussen reported poling results that only 41% of American adults now have a favorable impression of the nation’s chief political-scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci.


Not surprising,

Weeks ago, we posted:

A scientist shreds Fauci’s “attacking me is attacking science” canard…

In a WSJ op-ed, Gary Saul Morson — a Northwestern prof and co-author of “Minds Wide Shut: How the New Fundamentalisms Divide Us” — takes his shot at Dr. Fauci and his brand of “partisan science”.

Morson makes 3 main points…


1. Science operates by a process of criticism.

Some scientific statements prove false; that’s how science works.

For example, early last year we were treated to the delightful spectacle of Montana’s Glacier National Park removing signs that said its glaciers would be gone by 2020.

Science always contains some propositions less firmly grounded than others: on the frontier, newly discovered, based on experiments not readily replicated.

Those who claim that to doubt any part of the consensus is to be “antiscience” or “a denier” are themselves being unscientific.

Science operates by a process of criticism.

Scientists don’t experience divine revelations, they propose hypotheses that they and others test.


2. Doubting a scientist is not to doubt science.

Dr. Fauci’s assertion of authority creates skepticism about all his assertions because the distinction between science and a particular scientist is essential.

The greater danger to the public’s trust in science comes not from the uneducated but from politicians and journalists who claim to speak in the name of science.

Still more, it comes from scientists themselves, either because of what they say publicly in the name of science

When reasonable people cease to trust science in one case, how will one persuade them in another?

Dr. Fauci admitted that he first stated that masks were ineffective in part because there was a shortage of masks and he wanted to preserve them for medical workers, who needed them most.

He doesn’t seem to have considered: Once a scientist shades the truth for a reason of policy, why shouldn’t reasonable people assume his other statements are based on policy considerations rather than science?

To the extent that scientific claims are informed by political considerations, they are no more well-founded than purely political ones.


3. Beware “following the science”!

When a politician from any part of the political spectrum, claims he is only “following the science,” one can be sure that he isn’t.


Still, Fauci is maintains a ubiquitous media presence.

Go figure…

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