Science is never free of value judgments

Politicians who tell us they are just “following the science” need to be reminded of that

Science is never free of value judgmentsOver the past year or so, there has been continuous reference to complex social decisions as scientific, as though value judgments do not apply, or play only a limited role. Some of the most prominent examples include the designation of types of work as essential/non-essential. Liquor stores have been open throughout the pandemic, but access…

Has Covid-19 shaken your faith in science?

What do we make of the deluge of statistics and science, and pseudo-statistics and pseudo-science coming from all sources?

Has Covid-19 shaken your faith in science?So-o-o-o-o … what’s new? Well, the Stanley Cup playoffs have begun, so there’s that. I’m very excited, up until the Edmonton Oilers are eliminated. After that, my interest in hockey falls to near zero, except for a hockey pool I entered. When researching which teams to choose, I was surprised to learn that the Tampa…

Skepticism over Covid-19 response growing

Science is messy, and its bewilderment as to how to respond to Covid-19 is beginning to wear on people

Skepticism over Covid-19 response growingNews that not one but two COVID-19 vaccines have tested 95 per cent effective casts a welcome burst of light into Canada’s gloomy COVID-19 narrative, amid signs the pandemic is ripping into the nation’s social fabric. Moderna announced that its vaccine candidate proved 94.5 per cent effective in trials. Meanwhile, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech…

COVID-19 and scientific fallibility

The pandemic has underlined that we should neither disregard nor worship uncritically at the altar of science

COVID-19 and scientific fallibilityIn addition to upending 21st century normalcy, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone the light on science itself. Just how reliable is it? It’s an interesting question. First, though, let me be open about my default settings. I’m generally very big on medical science, believing that without it I mightn’t be alive today. Ireland, where I…

Communication mistakes undermine the credibility of scientists

Communication mistakes undermine the credibility of scientists at a time when trust is necessary to effectively combat the pandemic

Communication mistakes undermine the credibility of scientistsBy Derek Ng, Deborah Prabhu and Allan Bonner Contributors Crises make for strange bedfellows. It took the COVID-19 pandemic to forge a bond between journalists and epidemiologists. These two occupations have little in common. Journalist detest jargon and are admonished by editors for wordy prose. Epidemiologists publish in medical and scientific journals using the jargon…