Science Is Not Fake News

Science Is Not Fake News

“Sometimes, the experts will be wrong. Sometimes, science will surprise us, and we’ll wind up changing our minds as new and better data comes in. Sometimes trends will reverse; sometimes the root cause of a phenomenon is different and deeper than what we originally though. Science doesn’t end, it simply progresses to a better and more accurate approximation of reality.

Which is why we must accept a robust scientific consensus — wherever one exists — as the default starting position for what we do next. If there’s a policy decision to be made, it must be made in the context of this consensus. When we dismiss science, we dismiss our notion that we care to understand our reality and make fact-based decisions concerning it. When we claim we know better than the experts, we devalue the enterprise of human knowledge.

Science is not fake news. Quite the opposite: it provides the clearest, most accurate view of reality we’ve ever known.”

There are many ways of looking at a system we do not fully understand. For every phenomenon we observe, there are a slew of possible explanations we can hypothesize. But the way we make sense of our world isn’t through wild ideation or theorizing, but by examining the full suite of scientific data and seeking to explain it with as few free parameters as possible. If our quest is to understand and describe any natural phenomenon, we owe it to ourselves to learn what the best, consensus explanations are and to use those as the driver of forming good public policy. Anything less is tantamount to a rejection of the best view of reality we’ve been able to develop as a species.

There are many elements in our society equating science to fake news, and it needs to end today. Here’s why.