A recent article in a major newspaper reveals the disturbing and dark side of science. The Times of London is reporting a group of scientists had decided that pesticides were the reason for the declining honey bee populations and with this bias firmly in place set out to find evidence and write reports that fit their beliefs.
And here we thought it was the facts that determined the science, not scientists pre-determining the facts. Silly us.
The Times received notes of four high-ranking scientists from a meeting in 2010 where the group allegedly discussed how they could convince European Union (EU) regulators to ban “neonicotinoid pesticides.” They even outlined who would write the articles and how they could co-ordinate their efforts for greatest effect. They also discussed the increased impact of convincing a major scientific journal to publish these articles.
Their successful strategy resulted in the European Union temporarily banning the use of these pesticides despite protests from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs there was no evidence to support this belief.
The Times article entitled: Scientists accused of plotting to get pesticides banned can be read in full here.
It makes one wonder if scientists do similar things in other areas? Read: It’s so annoying when the facts don’t line up with your theories; Extraordinary dinosaur find challenges evolution; ‘The Times’ accuses man-made global-warming camp of a cover-up
Generally, that is how science works, you come up with a theory, and then you try to find proof to support that theory. I don’t think blaming “insecticides” for a drop in a specific type of insect is an unreasonable theory. If I had my way, the U.S would go organic, and get out of the business of supporting chemical companies.. Leave the food to the farmers.
I think it is all about the approach, true science tests theories and allow the facts to determine if it is valid or not. However, much of science is controlled by activists and science is used to prove their theories not test them. And at times when facts show up that disagree with their theory, the facts are disregarded. Bias also affects their interpretation of facts, as noted in this post on the thickness of Antarctic ice. In this case, one scientist honestly admitted his bias led to the mistakes.
The Times article said in their meeting the group had pre-determined what their articles were going to say. If this is science, no thanks.