Q – Do you know what ‘junk science’ is? And why it’s so so bad?
faulty scientific information or research, especially when used to advance special interests.
If you go around saying 1 + 1 = 3 when you’re ignorant, most people can laugh you off. But it gets harder when you know the person saying it is a mathematician, doesn’t it? And it damages the credibility of the field of math and some of the harder sciences and statisticians are undermined too. It’s not just about the idiocy of the one saying it.
And what do you do when saying it also undermines the safety and trust of vulnerable people in society? People who need the truth to be told so they can survive, take their rightful place in society and be treated fairly and kindly.
And all they hear is how 1+ 1 = 3. It wears at their self identity and their relationships. Right?
Then what if your junk science puts info into the hands of bigots, that you know isn’t true or relevant, yet forwards their cause? Or at least doesn’t challenge it. What if this is your intention of posting this view?
Should you be allowed to continue posting this junk? When should you be challenged or censured?
I think it’s critical to the advance of science and the humanities to discuss current topics and challenge held theories. And yes sometimes you should put forward less accepted theories. But not as gospel. Please put a caveat on it. Esp if you have a license or known research in the area. And you should note any conflicts of interest you have so people know what your skin is in the game. Because all lay people are not able to discern what is accepted and why.
These days, science and humanities’ articles can be viewed by lay people. So I think there should be a waiver saying that the topic under discussion isn’t anything more than a posit. So enjoy the engagement, but don’t spread it as fact. It’s not. And that can be harmful.
What do you think?