10 December 2020

Imagine a word ruled by scientists? No thanks

There’s a graphic on Instagram from August that started making the rounds on Twitter. It says, “imagine a world run by scientists instead of politicians.”

I do not like it.

I’m not showing the picture because I don’t think it deserves more eyeballs, but for the record, the people shown are: Lawrence Krauss, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sam Harris, Michiu Kaku, Richard Dawkins, and Leonard Susskind.

First, the image shows only men. That alone marks it as completely tone deaf.

Second, several of the people shown have amply demonstrated that they do not have leadership ability. Two were investigated for sexual misconduct. One was found guilty of sexual misconduct and took money from Jeffrey Epstein. Others are combative or flaky.

Third, the men (because yeah) chosen are mostly science communicators more than scientists. Sam Harris is a pop science author, not a active scientist. He’s done very little original science, ever. The others have stronger academic bona fides, but most are better known for being on television than publishing original research.

It’s so bad, I wonder if this image is supposed to be an ironic warning of the perils of science politicians. “Meet the new old men, same as the old old men, but with less experience.”

1 comment:

Mike Taylor said...

This also runs into another bugbear of mine: politicians are supposed to govern, not rule. It's not the same thing at all.