Thursday, 6 October 2011

Agree to Disagree

One for those currently confused by the whole reward/insulin axis of paleo evil!  Disagreement is a good thing:
  • When scientists wish to speak with one voice, they typically do so in a most unscientific way: the consensus report. The idea is to condense the knowledge of many experts into a single point of view that can settle disputes and aid policy-making. But the process of achieving such a consensus often acts against these goals, and can undermine the very authority it seeks to project.
It addresses the political end of scientific integrity very nicely,
  • The very idea that science best expresses its authority through consensus statements is at odds with a vibrant scientific enterprise. Consensus is for textbooks; real science depends for its progress on continual challenges to the current state of always-imperfect knowledge. Science would provide better value to politics if it articulated the broadest set of plausible interpretations, options and perspectives, imagined by the best experts, rather than forcing convergence to an allegedly unified voice.
It would be nice to see a similar article on the importance of transparency in trials/experiments, and on the (often) malign influence of business interests in research (and funding).

Read more of Daniel Sarowitz article here.

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