De Munck and Torfs want more ambivalence in the scholarly debate

De Munck and Torfs want more ambivalence in the scholarly debate

In this copy of Doorbraak Radio, David Geins speaks with historian Bert de Monk and church attorney Rick Torvs. They wrote an open letter, with 25 doctors and scientists, about the impossibility of scientific policy without paradox. The Open Letter The main message of the Open Letter is that there is now a healthy cordon surrounding science. The criticism of outsiders is very defensive, and it is not good for scientific and political debate. “ Science is taking hold …

In this edition from Breakthrough Radio David Geins speaks with historian Bert de Monck and church attorney Rick Torvs. They wrote one Open letterWith 25 doctors and scientists about the impossibility of scientific policy without paradox.

Open letter

The main message of the open letter is that there is now a health cordon surrounding the flag. The criticism of outsiders is very defensive, and it is not good for scientific and political debate. “Science has been interfering in our daily lives, and in political and public events, certainly since March 2020,” de Monck says. There is little room for criticism or questioning. Since many policy decisions stem almost directly from the choices that scientists make, it is nonetheless very important that you be able to discuss this, and as a regular person, you can ask questions.

In extreme circumstances, such as an epidemic, it is human to seek confirmation. “The media is posing”Experts say, ” Then comes a simple theory, and point, Torfs explains. “But such dogmatic use of science is detrimental in the long run.” After all, numbers are not just numbers, but rather they depend on variables and parameters. It is important for scholars to ensure that questions and criticism remain possible.

There is a great tension between doing science and what is being communicated to the public. The media bear a great responsibility in creating a scientific consensus. “There is consensus about the severity of the virus, but not at all about how to fight it,” de Monk says. “Just look at the evolution of scientific consensus in the past year alone. Fundamentals have changed for March 2020 through the development of ideas in scientific research.”

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The credibility of an infallible science

In order for scientists to be and remain credible, they must on the one hand make a clear distinction between moral presuppositions and scientific points. In doing so, they must prioritize their importance to the population. On the other hand, they should pay more attention to the methodology. “It is important for the scientist to state clearly what he can be sure of and what he suspects,” Torvs says. “Providing insight into the kitchen interior of the choices you make as a scientist remains a difficult problem,” assumptions and assumptions that serve as the basis for the curves and predictions should be thrown onto the table. However, the debate turns to what works and what does not.

At the same time, what works seems less and less clear. However, there are more studies, simulations, and comparisons between countries than ever before There appears to be little correlation between the different scales and the curve. For discussion to be possible, this uncertainty must emerge. “Uncertainty is possible, as long as it is clearly stated,” Torfs says. But I am disappointed that this is the rationale When special (Literally: “With this, so because of this.” Ed) Often. Something is happening, for example a decrease in the prognosis of infection among young people. This immediately explains it through the school closures, but it could be something else as well. Simplified conclusions are drawn very easily, without taking into account the complexity of science.

Interaction of factors

Torfs explains: “Before Corona we had a strong impression that we could control our lives, and that certainty is an achievement.” Every problem has a solution. Now there is a lot of uncertainty and it’s tough. In addition, some scientists seem to be unable to resist the temptation to forgo the necessary self-criticism and scientific rigor in exchange for star positioning. This Unique thought We must dare to ask.

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“There is a dynamic in which the media needs scientists, but scientists also respond eagerly to the media’s outstretched hand,” de Monk asserts. “However, they do sometimes make gruesome mistakes.

The science company has a number of internal mechanisms related to reputation, ratings, and impacts. Success can be measured by the number of references or the number of times the scientist is cited. Scientists should score, and not do it today by carefully looking for consensus, but by making bold statements. Mechanisms of such polarization require and challenge each other through completely opposing ideas.

Contradiction in science and media

A black and white image appeared between the flag and False news. If you ask questions about the scientific consensus, you are accused of that False newsMonk regrets. However, clarifying how the science works and questioning options are very different from advocacy False newsScientific choices determine which dimension of the pandemic becomes visible. Virologists, psychologists, epidemiologists, and immunologists show a different reality. In each case, the findings drawn and the methods proposed for responding to the epidemic will differ.

“Excessive specialization can lead to the rejection of the comprehensive view as unscientific,” says Torvs. “The scientist begins to feel so strongly in his orthodox artificial field that he refuses to recognize connections with other disciplines as being of value.” It is urgent to have this discussion So that scholars themselves think more about the political consequences of their choices.

Denouncing moral arguments

The logic of war seems to have arisen, right Powers that be Do not tolerate more inconsistency. “Voices that have shown criticism, such as Lieven Annemans, Mattias Desmet and Sam Brongen, have been denounced and defamed publicly,” De Munck testifies. It is framed, not by scientific argument, but by moral argument. “Galileo was scientifically convicted for other reasons,” Torvs adds. We are already seeing progressive insights into certain aspects of this virus, but not at all about basic anthropological data. Reactions to counterarguments range from anger to moral outrage. I was really shocked that he could have come this far. It’s scary that the media has agreed with this and the science hasn’t resisted much.

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The open letter could have been the start of a larger debate, but it met with little response. The Flemish press doesn’t seem ready yet. However, that’s out breakthrough Calculated, dissenting opinions are given voice via podcast and articles on the site.

Author article: Lies Verlinden

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