Stop Censoring the Scientific Process

follow the science
Science is not supposed to be about intimidating, countering interpretation of data, or abusing, or censoring data, science is not supposed to have a view. Science is only about data and the scientific process. There is never supposed to be ‘an accepted view’ of science.

Politicians and pundits also lost people’s trust by advocating regulations that were not based in fact. “The phrase ‘follow the science’ should never be uttered again by people who do not know actual data. They must stop,” Atlas said. “They have no credibility whatsoever when they get up and say, ‘follow the science.’ It’s clear many of them don’t know the science, don’t understand the science, and they are not using the science to make the recommendations.”

How can science and scientists recover from this trust deficit? “It depends on only one thing — the visibility of the scientific process, which by definition is about the visibility of the data,” Atlas said. “There should be no censorship of views and interpretation of different data. Do not intimidate or issue harsh condemnations of people just because you disagree with them. Let the truth prevail by the data.”

He has received hundreds of emails from other scientists who have encouraged him to remain outspoken while afraid to speak up themselves. “The saving of science really depend[s] on scientists to come forward and to be unafraid to say that the objectivity of science and [the] scientific process itself has been contaminated and impeded,” he continued. “When more scientists come forward, there hopefully will be a reversal of that [trust deficit]. There is no such thing as science without the evidence being visible and debates being current. Science doesn’t exist in any other way.”

How can we do a better job of fighting back the next time our ruling class tries to send us into crisis mode? We have to recognize what the data revealed about this current pandemic, Atlas said, citing several recent studies (including one by Eran Bendavid and other scientists of Stanford University) showing that lockdowns didn’t work to keep COVID-19 from spreading while imposing their own severe additional costs.

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