(Insanity & Doom updates resume after Christmas.)
“All I Want For Christmas Is Full Communism Now”.
Not I. It is the desire of BuzzFeed’s UK science editor Kelly Oakes. The verified user tweeted out that sentiment to her many followers.
She soon thought better of it and locked her account because of the reaction from readers who reminded Oakes of communism’s tens and tens of millions of victims.
Victims of Trumpenpanick
Another BuzzFeed reporter and verified Twitter user, Blake Montgomery, earlier tweeted “‘Victims of Communism’ is a white nationalist talking point. Trump just made Nov 7 Natl Day for vics of Communism.” He later apologized.
Trumpenpanick accounts for the mini-frenzy caused by the Washington Post. Last week, it reported that the Trump administration “banned” the Center for Disease Control from using certain science words.
With a face as straight as poker legend Nick the Greek’s, the paper said […]
Turns out it’s fake news.
Responding to the flap, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald tweeted “I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs.”
She also had to write, “As part of our commitment to provide for the common defense of the country against health threats, science is and will remain the foundation of our work”, and she called the Post’s report “a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process.”
Incidentally, you might ask yourself why there would a revolt over terms like “evidence-based” or “science-based”. That’s because these have specific meanings within science, and relate to a devotion to a certain method of analyzing data and communicating results, a devotion many scientists find annoying (and not particularly compelling).
Necessity of politics
Now there is little point to complaining about the politicization of science. Ever since governments became its main financial support, science has been political. (The National Science Foundation dates only to 1950.)
It is not wrong per se that science is political. Politics, after all, can at least in theory be a force for good. It was politics that decided it would be nifty to toodle off to the moon.
As an example of the intrusion of bad politics, take the recent report in “prestigious” Nature magazine, “Five priorities for weather and climate research” at the World Meteorological Organization.
You might think one of these priorities would be education on the (severe) limitation of climate models, since the ones they have stink at predicting the future. But, no. The real problem, they say, is—wait for it—the lack of diversity.
“Female scientists,” they say, “and those in developing countries need support.” By “support” they mean […]
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