How not to defend science. A Decalogue for science defenders

Sven Ove Hansson
Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden | soh@kth.se

Received: 1-June-2019 | Accepted: 9-July-2019 | Published Online: 24-November-2019
Disputatio [Dec. 2019], Vol. 9, No. 13, pp. 00-00 | DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3567187
Article | [EN] | Full Text | Statistics | Copyright Notice [sp] | Vol. 9 No. 13

How to cite this article:
Hansson, Sven Ove (2020). «How not to defend science. A Decalogue for science defenders». Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 9, no. 13: pp. 00–00.


Abstract | The public defence of science has never been more important than now. However, it is a difficult task with many pitfalls, and there are mechanisms that can make it counterproductive. This article offers advice for science defenders, summarized in ten commandments that warn against potentially ineffective or even backfiring practices in the defence of science: (1) Do not portray science as a unique type of knowledge. (2) Do not underestimate scientific uncertainty. (3) Do not describe science as infallible. (4) Do not deny the value-ladenness of science. (5) Do not associate with power. (6) Do not blame the victims of disinformation. (7) Do not aim at convincing the anti-scientific propagandists. (8) Do not contribute to the legitimization of pseudoscience. (9) Do not attack religion when it does not conflict with science. (10) Do not call yourself a “sceptic”.
Keywords |
Pseudoscience · Science Denial · Defence of Science · Science Education · Scepticism · Science and Religion · Uncertainty · Fallibility · Value-Ladenness.

Cómo no defender la ciencia. Un decálogo para sus defensores

Resumen | La defensa pública de la ciencia nunca ha sido tan importante. Sin embargo, es una tarea difícil con muchos obstáculos, y existen mecanismos que pueden hacerla contraproducente. Este artículo ofrece consejos para defensores de la ciencia, resumidos en diez mandamientos que advierten sobre prácticas potencialmente ineficaces o incluso contraproducentes: (1) No retrates la ciencia como un único tipo de conocimiento. (2) No subestimes la incertidumbre científica. (3) No describas la ciencia como infalible. (4) No niegues la carga axiológica de la ciencia. (5) No te asocies con el poder. (6) No culpes a las víctimas de la desinformación. (7) No pretendas convencer a los propagandistas anti-científicos. (8) No contribuyas a la legitimación de la pseudociencia. (9) No ataques la religión cuando no entre en conflicto con la ciencia. (10) No te denomines “escéptico”.
Palabras Clave | Pseudociencia · Negacionismo de la ciencia · Defensa de la ciencia · Educación científica · Escepticismo · Ciencia y religión · Incertidumbre · Falibilidad · Carga axiológica.


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