Skip to main content

Disgusted with (Some) Science Advocates

Just when you think the social media discussion of science can't get any more gross, it does.  This is no longer a discussion about science, about whether to play with DNA or vaccinate kids, about climates changing or chemtrails overhead.  What we are witnessing is a new low by a tiny sub-population of out-of-hand science advocates. The brutality, harassment and name-calling scientists have had to endure, is now going back the other way from those that claim to represent a science-minded community. 

Stop now. It is not the way we teach. It is not the way we share what we know.  It is not the way you will represent ideas I hold dear.  

Some folks need to rethink their direction if they want to get where they are trying to go.

This is no longer about science. It has entered a realm of basic right and wrong. The day science advocates start denigrating others in our name, we've lost, and you shift the focus from bad science to me as your central problem.  Stop wasting my time. 

I'm not mentioning names. I received a tweet early this AM stating that we need to use social media to drive mass reporting of a popular alternative health website, in the interest of getting it banned. After all, that's what they did, apparently. 

I visited the associated Facebook page only to see that some had already boasted about recommending it for shut down.  Specious reporting because they disagreed with content, or in retaliation for the fact that that website was apparently used in the same take down of a 70k-member science-advocacy site. 

I expect this from the anti-GMO, anti-whatever communities.  They have ridden me to the point where I was ready to  quit science, where I wanted to just disappear.  I have been personally harassed to the point where I sat in a plane, off to another talk, and hoped it would crash in a ball of flames.  No kidding. 

Harassment continues to this day.  They just broke into my office two weeks ago. They reference the damaging false claims about me, the endless images attached to me forever on the internet, the slander, the hate.  I don't want anyone to endure what I deal with, and I don't want anyone claiming to stand up for science and reason to ever harm others in this way. 

Trust me. It sucks. Don't do to others what they did to me. Don't be them.

You will win this the right way, with data and evidence, by being a teacher.  

I'm disgusted.  When I see allegedly science-minded people using FOIA to interrogate the records of those they disagree with, when I see science advocates coordinating mass reporting of websites they don't like, when I see harmful epithets and four-letter words being used to personally harm those they disagree with...  I'm out.  I do not want to be part of that tribe. 

Raise your damn game.  This is too important, you are turning off the people we need to reach.  You are making my job harder.  If we are going to change to hearts and minds, we are going to win the heart and appeal to the mind. 

Tearing down others does not make us bigger. Raise your game. Elevate this conversation.  Remember that you represent something important.  Truth.  Deliver it on a silver platter to those that need to know it, not with a four-letter word or fist to those you don't like. 

That's how we'll create the change we need to see. 

Popular posts from this blog

Scientific American Destroys Public Trust in Science

This is a sad epitaph, parting words to an old friend that is now gone, leaving in a puff of bitter betrayal. 
When I was a kid it was common for my mom to buy me a magazine if I was sick and home from school.  I didn't want MAD Magazine or comic books.  I preferred Scientific American
The once stalwart publication held a unique spot at the science-public interface, bringing us interesting and diverse stories of scientific interest, long before the internet made such content instantly accessible.  It was our trusted pipeline to the new edges of scientific discovery, from the mantle of the earth to the reaches of space, and every critter in between.
But like so much of our trusted traditional science media, Scientific American has traded its credibility for the glitz of post-truth non-scientific beliefs and the profits of clickbait.The problem is that when a trusted source publishes false information (or worse, when it hijacked by activists) it destroys trust in science, trust in s…

Chipotle's Ag-vertising to Fix their Anti-Ag Image

After years of anti-farmer rhetoric, disgusting anti-agriculture videos, and trashing farmer seed choice, Chipotle now seems to have found a love for the American farmer that is as warm and inviting as the gooey core of a steak burrito.  Their new "Cultivate the Future of Farming" campaign raises awareness of the hardship being experienced in agriculture, and then offers their thoughts and some seed grants in order to reverse it. 

But are they solving a problem that they were instrumental in creating? 

The crisis in agriculture is real, with farmers suffering from low prices, astronomical costs, and strangling regulation.  Farmer suicides are a barometer of the crisis.  Farms, from commodity crops to dairies, are going out of business daily. It is good to see a company raising awareness. 

From Chipotle's website- The "challenge is real" and "It's a hard living"-- and companies like Chipotle were central in creating those problems. 

However, Chipotle&#…

Mangling Reality and Targeting Scientists

Welcome to 2019, and one thing that remains constant is that scientists engaging the public will continue to be targeted for harassment and attempted reputation harm.  

The good news is that it is not working as well as it used to.  People are disgusted by their tactics, and only a handful of true-believers acknowledge their sites as credible. 

But for those on the fence I thought it might be nice to post how a website like SourceWatch uses a Wikipedia-mimic interface to spread false and/or misleading information about public scientists. 

Don't get me wrong, this is not crying victim.  I'm actually is screaming empowerment.  I spent the time to correct the record, something anyone can check.  Please look into their allegations and mine, and see who has it right. 

This is published by the Center for Media and Democracy.  Sadly, such pages actually threaten democracy by providing a forum for false information that makes evidence-based decisions in policy issues more challenging.  It…