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  • Writer's pictureRohin

The problem with the 'yay science!' crowd

What is 'soft scientism'? Well, you probably won't know, because I just made the term up. I have a lot of thoughts about scientism and science communication. These are just a few of them, with a particular focus on 2020 and the pandemic.

Watching this back, I am wondering if I need to stop making videos at 3am because I'm not sure I got my point across at all. I'm just a bit fed up of people giving the impression that science is a magical entity that knows all the answers. Of course all of this pre-dates COVID, we're awash with YouTube channels, blogs and social media accounts which fetishise science in harmful ways.

People praise crackpots that "cite sources", which is a meaningless term. Cherry-picking data that supports your argument isn't "citing source" accurately. A quack talking about cosmic energy is easy to spot. A qualified doctor talking about vitamin D, autophagy, telomeres, cryonics, magnesium, ions, keto etc etc *might* be just as big a quack as the first guy but will appear totally legit to most people (NB - all those areas have interesting avenues of investigation, but are prone to attracting people who are unable to appraise quality of data).

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