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Manufacturing Scientific Consensus — In Four Easy Steps

David French — National Review — May 7, 2014

Among the many virtues of aggressive litigation — in addition, of course, to the fundamental goal of obtaining justice for your clients — is the ability to gain knowledge. Through sworn testimony, compelled document disclosures, and other features of the discovery process, one can learn about institutions and attitudes at a level far deeper than can the typical pundit or journalist.

Such is the case when it comes to understanding the political process of “science.”

As I’ve reported before, at the ACLJ we represent a UCLA scientist who was fired after exposing that the lead “scientist” advancing controversial and draconian new environmental regulations had a fake degree from a fictitious university and after exposing that key members of the state’s “Scientific Review Panel” had overstayed term limits by decades. Moreover this UCLA scientist was fired after advancing his own research that contradicted the state (and university) approved apocalyptic warnings about diesel emissions.

Scientific consensus is easy — when you can silence dissent. Here’s how:

First, pretend that public funding represents the neutral, impartial gold standard in scientific research and then use that gold standard to pour money into a closed, self-reinforcing system of scientists who — surprisingly enough — reach remarkably similar conclusions about even the most complex systems.

Second, if scientists seek funding from outside approved channels — such as from industry groups — ignore or minimize the resulting science in favor of attacking the funding. Claim that dissenting science is tainted by that external funding in a way that science conducted using government funding is not. For example, research funded by oil companies can’t be trusted because oil companies have agendas, while the government’s only agenda is truth.

(Okay, stop laughing before you proceed to point three.)  Continue reading here….

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2 Comments on “Manufacturing Scientific Consensus — In Four Easy Steps”

  1. sandcanyongal May 11, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    Draconian environmental litigation? Here in the U.S. the North American Migratory Bird Treaty and Endangered Species Act has all but been dismantled.

    Canadians should look up into the skies and notice most of the bird species are gone.

    Man made destruction of our shared planet continues to degrade our once beautiful earth. If you wouldn’t allow your babies to be smothered in oil from a spill why would you allow it to happen to birds, wetlands, streams and lakes? Is wildlife less important than your 3 month old baby? No.

  2. cornwallwindwatch May 12, 2014 at 5:33 am #

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.

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