Scientists See Broad Attack Against Research And Reason

A rising tide of "irrationalism" in the United States and Europe is helping to fuel dangerous anti-science sentiments, according to a number of researchers and academics. Proof, they say, can be seen in the increased prominence given to postmodernist science studies in the universities, creationism, and alternative medicine. They claim that the spread of these and other untestable belief systems in society may destabilize science by skewing science education and diminishing public support for

Franklin Hoke
Jul 9, 1995
A rising tide of "irrationalism" in the United States and Europe is helping to fuel dangerous anti-science sentiments, according to a number of researchers and academics. Proof, they say, can be seen in the increased prominence given to postmodernist science studies in the universities, creationism, and alternative medicine.

They claim that the spread of these and other untestable belief systems in society may destabilize science by skewing science education and diminishing public support for experimental research.

"There is a widespread, powerful, corrosive hostility toward science," declares Paul R. Gross, University Professor of Life Sciences and director of the Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Virginia. "It's really toward scientists, by the way, but the confusion is universally made between scientists as persons and the body of knowledge that survives called science."

Postmodernist members of those disciplines engaged in science studies--sociologists, anthropologists, and historians, for example--counter that their critiques...