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May 31, 2013

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Patrick S. O'Donnell

Re: “...the potential to be misinterpreted in the lay, policy, and even science worlds.”

I think it is the “science world” itself that is more often the party responsible, at least in the first instance (via the mass media), for such misinterpretation. We’ve seen this again and again when it comes to genomics, neuroscience(s), evolutionary psychology, biomedical sciences like pharmacology, and biotechnology generally, with inflated or hyperbolic (at the very least, immodest) claims made on behalf of this or that discovery or latest research, in part owing to the need to attract funding for scientific research in a post-Fordist corporate environment globally constrained by the neoliberal parameters of turbo-capitalism. It seems the ideological converse of mass scientific illiteracy is elitist scientistic seduction by Promethean promises (apologies to Hilary and Steven Rose), with obscurantism, shenanigans, and ignorance the predictable result in both cases.

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