March for Science Is Back — Time to Talk About the Much Abused Idea of Scientific “Consensus”
The 2017 March for Science was a bizarre mix of political protest with aggressive virtue-signaling that, despite what the name says, had little to do with science. That is, if science means a fearless search for truth, as opposed to the loud and self-congratulatory demand that everyone swear loyalty to an often dubious “consensus.”
Well, it’s a year later, and the March for Science is back. It’s this Saturday, April 14, in Washington, DC, and at various satellite locations, including Seattle. Given that, nothing could be timelier than a conversation between Jay Richards and Michael Medved about when it’s permissible to doubt a scientific “consensus.” Dr. Richards outlines several giveaways or tells — signs that something fishy, other than objective science, is going on. It’s another podcast episode of Great Minds with Michael Medved, which you can enjoy in video or audio format. (The video will be up a little later this morning.)
If you didn’t know the new March is scheduled for this weekend, you’re probably not alone. The event has been the subject of less expectant media coverage this year, and so I’m guessing that, measured by turnout, it won’t be quite the event that it was in 2017. What should you expect? Alex Berezow points out that since its launch, the group’s campaigns have been largely vacuous (examples: “Put the ‘Science’ back in Science,” “Science, Not Silence”) as opposed to addressing serious scientific and policy questions.
So expect more self-congratulation, more attacks on political figures unpopular with the Left, more grating rhetoric guaranteed to alienate precisely the scientifically unchurched public that, in the marchers’ view, most needs to be persuaded by the case for “consensus.”
The rally in DC starts at a half hour past noon and the march itself at 3 pm. That’s a little early in the day for tippling, but last year our friends at Uncommon Descent offered a March for Science-themed drinking game which is quite amusing, if not to be taken literally. In fact, lest anyone misunderstand, please don’t try it at home. But do check it out over at UD and enjoy.
Photo credit: Scenes from the 2017 March for Science, by Anika Smith.