Nature, truth and Science - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 5 Old 01-30-2004, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We keep talking about various aspects of the “vaccine conspiracy,” the money trail, the power struggles, the lies, distortions, game playing, science bending, etc. I found this article interesting as a discussion of how distorted “science” is even before big pharma starts messing with it.

From Problems of Citation Analysis by MacRoberts and MacRoberts Published in Scientometrics, Vol. 36, No.3, 1996 435-444. (As far as I know, not available online.)

Some excerpts:

Quote:
The “storybook” scientist -- the objective, disinterested, humble, universal, and skeptical seeker of truth -- simply does not exist.

Science is not disembodied interaction between non-social automata and a single independent [real] world but is closely enmeshed with prevailing cultural history and beliefs. These researchers [constructivists] discovered that scientific history is constantly being rewritten, sanitized, and fictionalized to make it appear autonomous and rational. Scientific knowledge is socially negotiated, not given by nature.

Sicentific theories are underdetermined by evidence and observation is theory-laden…”Nature” emerges only when consensus is reached among scientists.

As Mulkay has pointed out, the formal language of the scientific paper is a language of certainty, mastery and domination. It is a language that denies its social origins and its human limitations. It is a language that actively misleads non-scientists and, ultimately, misleads the scientists themselves about their own role in the creation of facts and theories. In their examination of scientific communication, the constructivists found that paper writing is basically a rewriting of recent history to give the discovered object its ontological priority and to deny the cultural nature of the enterprise.

Papers are meant to sell a product, which is wrapped up with “the passionate pursuit of research grants and professional success.”

…not only do scientists’ accounts vary between the lab, over beers at a bar, in letters, lab notes, conferences, and within a single recorded interview, but between successive published versions of the same data!

vaccine injury is preventable
prevent it
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#2 of 5 Old 01-31-2004, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Your favourite author wouldn't happen to be Dr Petr Skrabanek would it?
No, I've just met him via a noisy lady from NZ! But thank you for the introduction. I'll see if I can find an article or two to read.

I found the material above while working on a paper on the use of citation analysis in humanities and social sciences.

Librarians are supposed to provide access to information. We're supposed to be non-judgemental, but judgemental (who is the authority behind this information? do they have a degree?), objective but sympathetic to individual points of view, provide a selection of everything (without enough funding) and so forth and so on.

So the occasional realization that a large proportion of the knowledge being spread about is made up of poor-quality, uncomposted manure provides light relief of sorts.

Cheers,
Nana

vaccine injury is preventable
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#3 of 5 Old 01-31-2004, 12:17 PM
 
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..."The “storybook” scientist -- the objective, disinterested, humble, universal, and skeptical seeker of truth -- simply does not exist"

.....this isn't so. We just don't make a living at it. (LOL)

OK, maybe not so "humble", "disinterested" smacks of that "pure" artist unencumbered by political reality that "the system" so loves, so I'll have to disqualify this qualifier.

Universal, skeptical (only of the status quo, but certainly not of intuition) seeker of truth (well, there's only really one thing that matters)

THIS existence "simply does not exist" because it lies between the lines of history---invisible-- just like the "Unconscious" (yeah, the capitalized one)...

...only to be revealed BY history (not the written one).



Reporting for class (LOL),



Ray

PS coming soon-- paragraph two (thanks for the thread Deborah you made my day.)
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#4 of 5 Old 02-03-2004, 04:56 PM
 
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"Science is not disembodied interaction between non-social automata and a single independent [real] world but is closely enmeshed with prevailing cultural history and beliefs. "

The "prevailing" economic machine

"Papers are meant to sell a product, which is wrapped up with “the passionate pursuit of research grants and professional success.”

Everything in mass media is connected to the selling of product in some way.

Greed has fully polluted our knowledge.

This is the case in Medicine.

This is the case in the Food Processing industry.

This is the case in the Housing Industry, especially Residential where the focus is completely on bells and whistles.

Stick-built, fiberglass-insulated, moisture laden homes are garbage.

A wall loses 30% of it's R-value when the internal moisture level goes above 1.5%.

Everyone should check out another "mother"-- Mother Earth News.

There's a lil' revolution going on.


Ray
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#5 of 5 Old 02-10-2004, 06:19 PM
 
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..it's the Feb. issue. An Interview With Vandana Shiva:

"I knew that we had to find a different way, a different model of research, one that doesn't assume that five people in the university know it all, but recognizes that we can learn from a broad spectrum of individuals. Every time forests were logged and people protested, the experts worked for the logging companies. Every time the mountains were mined, the experts were the miners and geologists. Every time dams devastated the rivers, the experts were the engineers who were building those dams. Something was wrong. So I set out to create an institution that would bring other people into the conversation about the ecosystems and the impact of commercial activity on people's lives. Now there is no division between my activism and my intellectual work. It's all part of a continuum."


Hilary, thank you and God bless,



Ray
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