Study: The larger a scientific field, the more conformist that field becomes, and the more lethargic its progress

Study: The larger a scientific field, the more conformist that field becomes, and the more lethargic its progress. By Eugyppius.

A leitmotif of this plague chronicle is the profound decadence and dysfunction of modern academia. Following the Science would be inadvisable even if we had some semblance of science.

Look who funds science: government bureaucracies, mostly. They fund the people they want. Like the carbon dioxide theory of global warming? Then defund anyone who disagrees, and since all climate scientists are employed by government, soon all climate scientists agree with the carbon dioxide theory. Voila!

Ever wonder why “the science” always supports the left’s positions, even when they are obviously wrong or exaggerated? The left’s bureaucrats control the science funding.

It didn’t used to be this way before WWII, in the glory century of science.

Instead, alas, we have a massive, overbuilt, over-enrolled university apparatus that primarily caters to the careerist concerns of students, researchers and teachers. It is a factory, not of free inquiry, but of conformity. Participants in this charade pantomime disagreement and discovery, but almost nobody ever says anything new or interesting.

The scientists who get funding are the glib, the manipulators of people, the writers of successful funding applications. The trainspotting observers of nature are left out in the cold, with no job in modern bureaucratic “science.”

This PNAS article published last year [studied the slowing] progress in large fields of science. [They found that] the more Science you do … the less stereotypically “scientific” your discourse becomes.

At scale, the scientific enterprise rapidly becomes a kind of intramural spectator sport, with the vast majority of “scientists” reduced to passively observing the dialogue unfolding among higher-ups within their own field, while most of their own work — undertaken for careerist purposes — goes unread and unnoticed.

The science establishment has become hopelessly corrupt and inefficient, funding many of the wrong people in all the wrong ways. Science communication is a field devoted to proselytizing for more science funding, more of the same.


hat-tip Scott of the Pacific