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Submission + - The Science Credibility Bubble (wsj.com) 2

eldavojohn writes: The real fallout of climategate may have nothing to do with the credibility of climate change. Daniel Henninger thinks it's a bigger problem for the scientific community as a whole and he calls out the real problem as seen through the eyes of a lay person in an opinion piece for the WSJ. Henninger muses 'I don't think most scientists appreciate what has hit them,' and carries on that vein in saying, 'This has harsh implications for the credibility of science generally. Hard science, alongside medicine, was one of the few things left accorded automatic stature and respect by most untrained lay persons. But the average person reading accounts of the East Anglia emails will conclude that hard science has become just another faction, as politicized and "messy" as, say, gender studies.' While nothing interesting was found by most scientific journals, he explains that the attacks against scientists in these leaked e-mails for proposing opposite views will recall the reader to the persecution of Galileo. And in doing so will make the lay person unsure of the credibility of ALL sciences without fully seeing proof of it but assuming that infighting exists in them all. Is this a serious risk? Will people even begin to doubt the most rigorous sciences like Mathematics and Physics?
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The Science Credibility Bubble

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  • Remember when the tobacco industry was found to be funding research conflicting with other climate researchers? Their goal was apparently to destroy public confidence in science, and hence, destroy the credibility of the smoking-cancer link. Regardless of weather they are behind this, the scenario is playing out.
  • It's interesting how in science, it's good when other scientists doubt other scientists as it fosters rigorous peer-reviewing and better experiment standards. It seems, however, when the public doubts science, science degrades to people throwing insults and biased claims left, right, and center in an uniformed battlefield. This just goes to show that politics should stay out of things they don't understand.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford