Science – Fact or Fiction – BBC Radio 4 Today had Humphries in a debate with Steve Jones and George Monbiot about science stories that have a big picture story or “grand narrative” overlaid on what must be hughely complex reality – UK MMR Vaccine, GM Foods, Cloning, Global Warming etc. The fact being that one piece of science (even good science) can be seized on to support the case for the grand narrative, which takes on much greater significance than that specific piece of science, even cutting across scientific evidence to the contrary. Bjorn Lomborg was cited as an example of someone who had dared to pick up on the scientific counter evidence to spin the story opposing the received wisdom behind the global warming “problem”. [See also] Either way both stories are spin – for or against – so how do you decide the truth ?
The interesting point is that whilst both scientists accepted this, both knew which of the grand narratives they believed, and both accepted the reality of the negative reaction generated when someone dares to suggest the opposite view is scientifically supportable.