Friday, February 18, 2005

He who pays the piper...

...is just about the worst argument against scientific conclusions ever drawn. True, ever scientific researcher comes to their subject with a whole bunch of values. That's why we have scientific debate, to try to sift opinion in such a way as to overcome individual subjectivity or sectional interest. The modern argument, as illustrated very well in relation to the climate discussion, is that if you get any money from any group or company with an interest in a particular outcome, you've effectively been bribed to say something untrue. Healthy scepticism and cynicism are quite separate things.

This article by Dick Taverne illustrates the dangers in this trend:

EducationGuardian.co.uk | Research | Careless science costs lives

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