Cold, objective science? Think twice

by Enrico Uva In trying to make sense of science-related issues — say, global warming, or vaccines and autism —we are often hampered by a lack of scientific expertise, and even for those us who have a science degree, our knowledge often doesn’t spread beyond the scope of our specific field. Things get murkier still when individuals and organizations represent science … Continue reading Cold, objective science? Think twice

Stifling discourse, on your Left

by Massimo Pigliucci I may be in danger of becoming a libertarian. No, not the Rand Paul or even Pen Jillette type (or, worse, a Randian objectivist!). I’m talking of a version of libertarianism closer to the one famously espoused by John Stuart Mill. Mill put forth the idea that there should be little or … Continue reading Stifling discourse, on your Left

What is science and why should we care? — Part III

by Alan Sokal In all the examples discussed so far I have been at pains to distinguish clearly between factual matters and ethical or aesthetic matters, because the epistemological issues they raise are so different. And I have restricted my discussion almost entirely to factual matters, simply because of the limitations of my own competence. … Continue reading What is science and why should we care? — Part III

What is science and why should we care? — Part II

by Alan Sokal Let me now pass to a second set of adversaries of the scientific worldview, namely the advocates of pseudoscience. This is of course an enormous area, so let me focus on one socially important aspect of it, namely so-called “complementary and alternative therapies” in health and medicine. And within this, I’d like … Continue reading What is science and why should we care? — Part II

What is science and why should we care? — Part I

by Alan Sokal I propose to share with you a few reflections about the nature of scientific inquiry and its importance for public life. At a superficial level one could say that I will be addressing some aspects of the relation between science and society; but as I hope will become clear, my aim is … Continue reading What is science and why should we care? — Part I