‘BUT SCIENTISTS DISAGREE!’*

The media love to portray disagreements, whether between politicians, Scientists or divorcing celebrities as terminal rifts. It takes a sensational headline to attract attention; people won’t buy a newspaper or watch TV news just to discover that one person is ‘slightly miffed’ with another!

 

There’s bound to be some disagreements, especially at the ‘cutting edge’ of Scientific discovery where measurements are being pushed to the limit of instruments’ capabilities. Take the recent issue of climate change; gradually, over the years, a large majority of Scientists has accepted the growing evidence that man’s activities are changing the Earth’s climate. That didn’t stop a newspaper publishing some old emails exchanged between climate change experts who were accused of manipulating the data. An enquiry found no manipulation although the Scientists had fallen short of best practice such as using independent statisticians. The head of department, Phil Jones, lost his job. He is back in charge of the Science but has been relieved of his administrative responsibilities. New data reveals significant climate change has occurred since 1995.

 

Proposers of different opinions have to persuade others to join them and eventually one side gathers more support and a consensus is reached. More research is often done around the globe to further investigate the different options and clarify the situation. The Science community works like an international democracy. Amazingly, there are no national, language, political, religious, racial or sexual barriers to this debate. It spawned the worldwide web, that you are viewing this website on, as a means for Scientists to exchange information via what, in the UK, was called JANET - the Joint Academic NETwork. This spirit of co-operation has enabled some wonderful collaborations between unlikely contenders such as the USSR and the USA just after the end of the cold war!

 

Shouldn’t we all follow this example?

 

 

Apart from in the field of weapon research where secrecy has to be maintained due to national interests, the Scientific community is a beacon of how to behave in a sharing, co-operative, non-divisive way. Scientists deal with each other as equals and do not recognise differences such as skin colour, language, creed, etc.

 

Yes, some Scientists do hold a belief in a god. I’m afraid I don’t understand them. How can they work all day in a world based on evidence and then switch off rationality in their leisure time? It’s schizophrenic!  Religious Scientists

Sir Isaac Newton 1643 - 1727

Physicist, astronomer, mathematician and also unorthodox Christian

Albert Einstein 1879 - 1955

Nobel prize winning recognised genius, the ‘father of modern physics’, also commented on politics

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Scientists are real people with different facets, internal contradictions and complicated lives just like you and me!

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OF COURSE THEY DO, THEY’RE HUMANS!

* To see real disagreement, look at religions!  There has been murderous conflict between many sects throughout history and it’s continuing today.

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