German Research Institute Regrets Censorship of a Pro Science Statement

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation)

h/t Dr. Willie Soon, NoTricksZone; The German Research Foundation (DFG) has apologised for censoring a statement that science is not a religious belief system.

The statement by satirist Dieter Nuhr which caused the censorship controversy (source NoTricksZone);

Knowledge does not mean you are 100% sure, but that you have enough facts to have a reasoned opinion. But many people are offended when scientists change their mind: That is normal! Science is just THAT the opinion changes when the facts change. This is because science is not a doctrine of salvation, not a religion that proclaims absolute truths. And those who constantly shout, “Follow science!” have obviously not understood this. Science does not know everything, but it is the only reasonable knowledge base we have. That is why it is so important.

The apology from DFG;

The DFG expressly regrets having prematurely removed Dieter Nuhr’s statement from the website of the online campaign # fürdasWissen. Mr. Nuhr is a person who stands in the middle of our society and is committed to science and rational discourse. Even if his pointedness as a satirist may be irritating for some, an institution like the DFG is committed to freedom of thought on the basis of the Enlightenment. We have therefore resumed the contribution. The discussion about the article exemplifies the developments that currently characterize many public discussions about science.

A culture of debate has developed in various areas of our society in which it is often not the factual and stronger argument that counts, in which less listening and inquiries are made, but more and more often hastily judged and condemned. The common dialogue is increasingly being replaced by polarized and polarizing disputes. Especially when it comes to key issues such as climate change or the coronavirus pandemic, the really necessary discussion about scientific topics and the constructive exchange between science and society are hindered. Scientists who make their findings public and describe options for political action are increasingly the target of unobjective attacks and personal defamation. This also applies to social movements

These developments are not beneficial to society and are all the more worrying as science plays a central role in overcoming current challenges, with which it is currently strongly perceived and valued in society. For her part, she is dependent on a critical, open and constructive communication culture.

The DFG would like to use these observations as an opportunity to initiate an intensive examination of the current culture of debate around science. The DFG stands for diversity of opinion and freedom of expression as well as a differentiated culture of discussion. It will continue to do its utmost to achieve this in the future – together with other actors from science, media, politics and other areas of society at home and abroad.

Source (Google Translate):

I applaud the DFG recognising and correcting their error, but such a statement should never have been censored.

I hope this is the start of something bigger, because something has gone very wrong with modern academia. Scientists like Peter Ridd should not be persecuted and punished for taking unfashionable positions. The penalty for speaking your mind if you are a scientist, even if you are later proven to be wrong, should not be excommunication and financial ruin.

If society continues to sanction shooting the messenger (sometimes literally) when it comes to scientists taking unfashionable positions on climate change and Covid-19, politically popular positions will never be properly challenged and reviewed.

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August 9, 2020 11:21 pm

The German Research Foundation (DFG), at the time that they censored Dieter Nuhr’s statement, obviously did believe that science is a religion with immutable dogma. Cases like Peter Ridd show how widespread the belief and the persecution extends. Alarmists constantly warn us to ‘follow the science’ like a religion.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 10, 2020 1:24 am

They didn’t censor Nuhr because of his statement, but because of the criticism “of the street” that followed.
Many people don’t like him because of his statements about Greta and climate alarmism in his shows.
And so, what ever he will say can’t be true or ok.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 10, 2020 1:41 am

Nuhr told the newspaper “Die Welt” that he had “forbidden the DFG to put my statement ‘commented’ online”. “What is this all about? Everyone else is free to speak their mind and mine will come with a warning like a cigarette packet.” The behaviour of the DFG was disappointing. “not only because of the deletion, but even more because of the poor handling”, Nuhr told “Die Welt”. For many people, the question was how the DFG would stand for free research, “if it caved in to such a trifle. I am very concerned about this, precisely because I consider free science to be vital.

He did not accept the DFG’s apology, said Nuhr. After all, the DFG only expressed its regret that it had not informed him, not that his contribution had been deleted.

German source FAZ

August 9, 2020 11:30 pm

They need to be lauded for their belated realization. Many paths beckon those on their way to achieving wisdom. DFG chose the right one, after a short sidestep was corrected!!!

Joel O'Bryan
August 9, 2020 11:34 pm

” And those who constantly shout, “Follow science!” have obviously not understood this.

Science Magazine and AAAS is one of the greatest offenders of this. I get emails regular offering me gifts to rejoin AAAS. Their latest email to me reads: “If the current pandemic has proved anything, it’s this: We need to stand up for science more than ever.” Blah, blah, blah…

I consider these “stand up for science” calls to be in the same nature as Dieter Nuhr calls out the shouting for, “Follow science!” They come from the same mindset that really is saying, “Follow what the ‘experts’ are saying.” Oh and btw, only ‘experts’ anointed by the gatekeepers are allowed to say what that is.

And then they will send me this T-shirt (see link) as a membership renewal gift so that I can wear it like some funny-shaped pink hat, and signal my virtuous “wokeness” on science.

The Richard Feynman version of that AAAS T-shirt should really read,
“Now is the time to listen to science the ignorance of the experts.”

It is much more accurate written that way.

Bob boder
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 10, 2020 4:08 am

What happened to the scientists that love learning new things? I remember a time when being proven wrong was a good thing.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 10, 2020 7:16 am

I agree with you. Have had enough of “follow the science” from scientifically-ignorant talking heads who simply repeat the party line.

August 9, 2020 11:36 pm

The penalty for speaking your mind if you are a scientist, even if you are later proven to be wrong, should not be excommunication and financial ruin.

The unique and astounding thing about Christianity is forgiveness. Jesus died for our sins. Every Christian recites the Lord’s Prayer. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive the trespasses of others.”

Even lots of Christians miss that essential cornerstone of their religion. That notwithstanding, Western civilization is built on the Christian religion and you can’t understand it without understanding Christianity. That is so far beyond the ken of the average university ‘academic’ (sic) that it sickens me.

Why the ‘sic’? The quality of scholarship in universities has slipped into the ditch, especially in the grievance studies departments. They are a lot closer to a drooling lynch mob than to being actual rigorous, thoughtful, academics.

Reply to  commieBob
August 10, 2020 12:06 am

Christianity burnt a lot of people on stakes before they came to a new position. The key lesson that climate science could learn is to look back at your history and do better.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  LdB
August 10, 2020 12:36 am

That is the foundation of the Enlightenment and it allowed Europe to pull far ahead of the once mathematically advanced Middle East-Arabic world. It was a rejection of the absolutism of a “one and only one moral authority.” Because then who gets to speak for that authority? Especially when the religious authorities interpretations are questioned. For most of 2,000 years in Western culture (Europe) is was the Vatican, and from there sanctioning very horrible things in far away lands. Enlightenment thinkers rejected. Europe moved forward in astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, physics.
This is where the Religion of Climate Change spread like a cancer and has destroyed science with its promotion of rent-seeking behaviors throughout other disciplines. We need an Enlightenment 2.0 to throw aside all the ways in which politicized science has hijacked thinking on climate and the world around us.

Anthony Robb
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 10, 2020 2:09 am

To imply that the Church relied on (and demanded) blind faith is not borne out by history. From earliest times the role of reason was promoted as the bedrock of belief. As Clement of Alexandria wrote in the 3rd century, “For indeed it is not safe to commit these things to bare faith without reason, since assuredly truth cannot be without reason”.
When Newton remarked, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” he was speaking of the massive contribution of medieval scientists down the ages. These were not ‘Dark Ages’ as Voltaire, Rousseau, Locke, Hume and others would have us believe but were in fact times of real enlightenment.
The Early Universities
Whilst China, India and Persia can claim institutions from ancient times these were exclusively devoted to religious culture, contemplation and meditation. The first university as we know them today was founded in Bologna in about 1088. This was followed by Paris (c. 1150), Oxford (1167), Palencia (1208) and Cambridge (1209). The stated mission of these universities was of exclusive devotion to higher learning, i.e. the active pursuit of knowledge.
By the end of the 14th century there were 24 others: Montpellier, Siena, Toulouse, Oleans, Naples, Salamanca, Seville, Lisbon, Grenoble, Padua, Rome, Perugia, Pisa, Modena, Florence, Prague, Cracow, Vienna, Heidelberg, Cologne, Ofen, Erfurt, Leipzig and Rostock.
As Nathan Schachner (1895-1955) put it, “The university was the spoiled child of the Papacy and Empire, of King and municipality alike.
Here is a short list of Notable Scholars
Robert Grosseteste (1168-1253)
Attended Oxford and taught and studied in Paris before becoming Chancellor of Oxford and then bishop of Lincoln (England’s largest diocese which included Oxford). He refuted Aristotle’s theory of the rainbow and was one of the first to realise that rainbows involved refracted light and did important work on tides. His most important contribution, however, was in laying down clear ideas of controlled experiments and scientific method – his principle of “resolution and composition”. “When one controls his observations by eliminating any other possible cause of the effect, he may arrive at an experimental universal of provisional truth”.
William of Ockham (1295-1349)
He studied at Oxford, joined the Franciscans and worked mainly on the Continent. He is now remembered for the (often misrepresented) principle known as Ockham’s razor but his main contribution to astronomy was in recognising that space was a frictionless vacuum thus doing away with the Greek philosophers need of ‘pushers’ to move the planets.
Nicole d’Oresme (1325- 82)
Attended and taught at the University of Paris before becoming Dean of Rouen Cathedral and then bishop of Lisieux. D’Oresme firmly established that the earth turned on its axis thus giving the illusion that other heavenly bodies circled the earth.
Nicholas of Cusa (1401-64)
Studied at Padua, became bishop of Brixen and then a Cardinal in 1448. He proposed that the earth was moving through space and furthermore that, “Whether a man is on the earth or the sun, or on some other star, it will always seem to him that the position he occupies is the motionless centre, and all other things are in motion.
Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)
When Copernicus in his most famous book On the revolutions of Heavenly Spheres placed the sun at the centre of the solar system with the earth and other planets circling it he was not saying anything particularly revolutionary. Such theories were well known to him as they had been taught in all 3 Italian universities which he attended. What made Copernicus stand out was that he expressed it in mathematics. Unfortunately, he failed to realise that the orbits were elliptical not circular and so had to postulate that there were loops in these orbits that delayed them sufficiently so that they did not complete their orbits too soon. Of course, these loops were never observed and everything in Copernicus’ book apart from the idea that the sun was at the centre of the solar system was wrong.
As Bernard Cohen (1914-2003) wrote, “the idea that a Copernican revolution in science occurred goes counter to the evidence… and is the invention of later historians”.
Copernicus added a small step in the long process of normal science furthermore, the scholars involved in this process were not rebel secularists. Not only were they devout Christians, they were all priests or monks and four of them were bishops and one a cardinal.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) dedicated his book Assayer to his (erstwhile) close friend cardinal Maffeo Barberini (later to become Pope Urban VIII) and the Barberini crest appears on the title page of the book.
The work was mainly an attack on the (correct) theories of Jesuit mathematician Orazio Grassi who treated comets as small heavenly bodies and not as Galileo proposed ‘reflections of vapours arising from the earth.’
As the Protestant Reformation took hold, its charges that the Catholic Church was not faithful to the bible caused the papacy to attempt to separate science and theology. Scientists were urged to adopt the tactic of identifying scientific conclusion as mathematical or hypothetical and hence devoid of theological implications. This is what Pope Urban VIII urged Galileo to do.
In 1632 Galileo published the awaited Dialogue Concerning the two Chief World Systems and although he did include the pope’s disclaimer, but he put it in the mouth of ‘Simplicio’ (the simpleton) thereby disowning it. The pope, not unreasonably, felt betrayed but more importantly, Galileo’s defiant action prompted a crack-down on intellectual freedom by the wider Counter-Reformation Church.
It didn’t help Galileo’s case that most of the science in his book was incorrect. The work on tides (as Einstein pointed out) was nonsense and his work on heliocentricity did not move scientific understanding beyond the erroneous calculations of Copernicus. It would be another 100 years before the orbits were accurately described.
Despite their disagreements the pope used his power to protect Galileo from any serious punishment following his conviction for heresy by the Roman Inquisition. He did not serve a single day in prison but freely accepted his house arrest, and remained deeply religious, devout communicant member of the church until his death in 1542.

Ron Long
Reply to  Anthony Robb
August 10, 2020 3:31 am

Anthony Robb, you have turned some select facts into spin in your rush to defend religion. Giordano Bruno was burned alive at the stake for the heresy of refusing to recant heliocentrism. Galileo was tried for heresy for supporting heliocentrism, found guilty, but allowed to recant on the steps in order to live his life in house arrest. Trying to spin either the fate of Bruno or Galileo as “freely accepted” their fate is ridiculous.

Reply to  Anthony Robb
August 10, 2020 3:45 am

Anthony ,thank you for the illuminating mini dissertation , but there was one person that I thought should have been included: Roger Bacon of Oxford . Then I found a very comprehensive discussion of his life and works on Wiki (bit vulgar I know but the Bodleian is 200 miles away):
from which I learnt that many of the facts that I thought I knew were wrong or uncertain, for example :
he invented gunpowder (not)
he was a revolutionary experimental scientist ( probably not , but did advance optics)
he was persecuted by the Catholic Church for his views and spent his last years in a dungeon in Paris ( pleased to find not true).
It seems that he was probably a pupil of Robert Grosseteste and if one follows the links in the Wiki article transcription of his Opus Major are available at the Internet Archive .

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Anthony Robb
August 10, 2020 4:13 am

Anthony Robb – August 10, 2020 at 2:09 am

The first university as we know them today was founded in Bologna in about 1088.

Anthony, …… my personal opinion would be that …… The first university as we know them today was founded in Alexandria in the 3rd Century BC, to wit:

The ancient Library of Alexandria was a large and significant library of the ancient world. It was founded in Alexandria, Egypt. The Library flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship. It was built in the third century BC.

The library comprised a peripatos (walk), gardens, a room for shared dining, a reading room, lecture halls and meeting rooms. However, the exact layout is not known. This model’s influence may still be seen today in the layout of university campuses.

Reply to  Anthony Robb
August 10, 2020 6:13 am

In fact Bruno was tried for denying, inter alia, the doctrines of eternal damnation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and transubstantiation. A ‘nap hand’, you might say!!

The idea that the earth went round the sun is small beer by comparison.

In reality all the Church was doing was trying to do was to prepare the faithful for what it had already accepted but there are ways of “selling” these things and Galileo’s crime was that he wasn’t prepared to keep his mouth shut while it was explained. Looking back from our scientific (and moral?) high ground we ought to understand that as we develop our understanding of the universe so we get better results by explaining why our views are departing from the “norm” than in going in heavy-handed and making matters worse.

The Church has never been anti-science. Scientists are the experts in the material world and the Church recognises this. It simply insists that scientists — as scientists — have nothing useful to say about how the spiritual world operates. That is the function of religion. The two organisations operate in separate spheres.

Reply to  Anthony Robb
August 10, 2020 6:56 am

Ron Long, you are the one who is taking outlier “facts” to justify your own hatreds.
Yes, the church did sanction the burning of a few individuals. However the church is always part of the society in which it exists. As is every other institution.

Your insistence that the religion can only be pure if it is pure and has always been pure is just your own biases taking over.

Reply to  Anthony Robb
August 10, 2020 9:11 am

Samuel, that sounds to me more like a place where the learned gather to talk, then a place where the young are taught.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 10, 2020 11:13 am

The Enlightenment engendered establishment of a “secular” Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic quasi-religion (“ethics”) written by mortal gods and goddesses, proselytized by advocates, activists, etc., and enforced at the edge of the sword… a conflation of logical domains, and euphemisms galore to socially justify choices, methods, and practices that were internally, externally, and mutually inconsistent.

Reply to  LdB
August 10, 2020 5:11 am

Forgiveness is one of the basic teachings of Jesus.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22, NIV) example

Burning people at the stake, and other aberrations, came much later. People find all kinds of excuses for ignoring the teachings of the Bible.

mike macray
Reply to  LdB
August 10, 2020 5:50 am

“..Christianity burnt a lot of people on stakes before they came to a new position”

Hardly Christianity, rather intolerance exercised by the powerful claiming to be Christian. The modern version is virtue signaling…nothing to do with virtue.
My alma mater has a memorial to 4 protestant bishops burned at the stake in 1556 for refusing to renounce their faith. To some, no doubt a barbaric event and to others a remarkable tribute to faith and courage. Would that the powerful elites, especially ‘journalists’ of our time whose morals have merged with their mortgages, should be inspired by such courage!

Reply to  LdB
August 13, 2020 10:20 am

Nowhere is it a tenet, or even a suggestion, in Judeo-Christianity to burn a non-believer or a heretic at the stake, or otherwise try to kill or jail or imprison or maim any person for non-belief or heresy.

ALL of us have had proper required “K-12” education, or some similar routine education, which has included “social studies,” or similar, and which has, or should have, included a proper review of Christianity.

Beside that, there has been a bone fide, orthodox Judeo-Christian Bible in your hotel room on the majority of hotel room stays you have made.

Beyond that, we are not keeping any secrets. We have invited you to listen to our message, whether at your door front, or at our local church.

Ignorance of the tenets of Christianity is inexcusable for educated people in the West.

Further, there is no excuse for willful misrepresentation of Judeo-Christianity, as has been done here by LdB.

One of our tenets is this: all of us humans are tragically flawed. We are lousy rapscallions. This is shown in many ways. One way is that some of us, singly or in groups of willingly like-minded others, have risen to positions of power and have abused the privilege of the position.

This includes in government, in Organized Religion, in Boy Scouts, in banking, in used-car sales, in dating and marriage, in “borrowing” something from a neighbor, and in any further way possible.

Another tenet is that there will be humans misrepresenting, exploiting and misusing Judeo-Christianity. This sad reality is in our Bible.

If someone burns someone else “at the stake,” in the name of Judeo-Christianity, the task is to go see whether Judeo-Christianity INCLUDES or CONDONES that behavior as a tenet, or a principle, or as a good idea, or as a suggestion.

It does not.

If you believe it does, please quote chapter and verse.

So, it represents ill will and willful ignorance to throw out such a weak trope. Judeo-Christianity NEVER had a policy of burning people at the stakes, from which to arrive at a “new” position. NOt-burning people at the stake has always been the position of Judeo-Christianity.

Your Hate and Christophobia is showing.

Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  commieBob
August 10, 2020 2:40 am

Yes. Academia has been busily destroying its reputation for some years now.

Eric Vieira
August 10, 2020 12:23 am

“The penalty for speaking your mind if you are a scientist, even if you are later proven to be wrong, should not be excommunication and financial ruin.”
Much worse: in the case of Peter Ridd, he was penalized and excommunicated although proven to be right!
Even though Dr. Ridd had the support of experts, the judge took the wrong side. Hope he wins at the supreme court.

August 10, 2020 12:27 am

In truth, reality lies.
Are you sure you’re correct?

Matthew Sykes
August 10, 2020 12:44 am

Thats the beauty of science! You dont have to know it all in order to make progress, you just go with what you have.

And bit by bit you inch your knowledge along.

Science is always wrong! But it is also always good enough 🙂

August 10, 2020 12:55 am

Peter Ridd’s crime was not against “fashion” it was worse – it was against his university’s funding model of promoting Great Barrier Reef degradation due to (man made) climate change.

Nick Graves
August 10, 2020 12:57 am

Perhaps there is a chance we’re not living in Huxley’s Brave New World after all.

Philip Mulholland
Reply to  Nick Graves
August 10, 2020 4:20 am

You only learn by making mistakes and correcting your errors.

Gerry, England
August 10, 2020 2:43 am

Dr Peter Ridd’s latest update that says the next step will happen by the end of then year and then if successful the appeal will be heard next year, also says that his case has stirred government action. A review of free speech in universities is to be carried out by the government. And on the subject of the poor quality of Great Barrier Reef research, a hearing on this highlighted a lot of weakness in GBR research which has been used to penalise farmers in Queensland as the research claims damage is due to agricultural runoff. Dr Ridd is working with Queensland farmers on this. More is likely to happen on this given the admissions made at the hearing.

August 10, 2020 4:17 am

Science reframed as a religion of “Nature’s God” (quote from the Declaration of Independence).
There is one Goddess — Mother Nature. She is the oracle of truth. She always give true, yet sometimes misleading answers (the Sun does not really rise into a dome of sky).
Her priests, scientists, have devised a ritual to rule out the misleading answers. That ritual is to hypothesize (guess) and then to repeatedly ask the oracle by way of experiment to check the accuracy of the hypothesis. As time goes on more of the misleading answers are chipped away leaving the beautiful sculpture of reality.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Old.George
August 10, 2020 8:28 pm

The answers aren’t misleading, we just don’t always have a good frame of reference. In other words, we often ask the wrong questions.

R Moore
August 10, 2020 4:32 am

Who is being referred to as ‘her’ and ‘she’ in the sentence ‘For her part, she is dependent on a critical, open and constructive communication culture.’?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  R Moore
August 10, 2020 8:29 pm

Maybe DFG identifies as female?

August 10, 2020 5:44 am

Too many people who shouldn’t are going to Universities at pubic expense to leard trades and useful practices like trades but also received opinions dressed up as science they can never be, because they can’t be proven. The bureaucrats that run the Universities don’t want this pointless waste of public money to stop.. The elite pretend evryone can go ti o University when most are simply not clever enough. THis should not be a way of keeping the less able off the dole queue for 3 years longer at their parents expem nse, that was never necessary before when the bright and motivated still rose to the top by effort and innate ability, which you can’t teach.

University should be a prize to be won, not a right or something you can buy. And academics should have careers based on proving something, in the sciences at least. Not forming unprovable consensuses the can preach as if fact to students.. Which is why they don’t like the reality of facts and proof to enter their well funded “sciences”

Check out John Cleese on the Dunning-Kruger problem.

Norman Blanton
August 10, 2020 5:45 am

Follow the science. Okay I follow the 3% of scientist that don’t believe in global warming…

that’s my response to the 97% of scientist believe in global warming.
if the discussion goes on from their. I state that if they are convinced in their stance enough to go against the other 97% they must have some good arguments why.

Reply to  Norman Blanton
August 10, 2020 9:24 am

Except that there IS no 97% consensus.

The “97%” is the most egregious example of “fake news” that has ever been offered.

Frederick Michael
Reply to  Mr.
August 10, 2020 9:43 pm

The 97% only agree that the earth is warming and that anthropogenic CO2 emissions contribute “significantly.” They do not agree that it’s a problem.

Reply to  Frederick Michael
August 11, 2020 8:20 am

No. CO2 was not mentioned in that infamous survey. It only said Man was making a significant contribution. That includes everything from pumping up groundwater, to agriculture, to urban heat.

August 10, 2020 6:01 am

Science is just a tool that we use to discover the nature of our physical world. It’s a mental tool that we’ve developed for exploring the nature of reality; just like a shovel is a physical tool we’ve developed for digging a hole in the ground. When some news reporter piously announces that “SCIENCE says” all that means is the reporter doesn’t know his science from a hole in the ground.

August 10, 2020 6:33 am

The Prologue to this work, essential reading for any scientist, by Albert Einstein, is stunning for us today, bombarded as we are by mobs and ideologues :
Where is science going?
by Planck, Max Karl Ernst Ludwig, 1858-1947

In the spirit of open discussion, see what Einstein says about Max Planck, contrary to other various groups of “scientists”. Unfortunately many here have never visited the Temple of Science.

Unfortunately, Galileo, praised above, belongs to a category that the Angel would clear out of the Temple of Science, to paraphrase Einstein’s Prologue.

It would be good for the DFG to honor their finest, Max Planck and Albert Einstein.

August 10, 2020 6:53 am

They may have reinstated his comment (I guess that’s what they mean by “resumed the contribution.”), but this is no proper apology. Just like a kid who got caught feeling sorry for getting caught. How about publicly saying “please forgive us”?

Also, what’s with this? “For her part, she is dependent on a critical, open and constructive communication culture.” Her? She? Is it common practice to personify science in the feminine? I am offended. Call in the gender police. Fight the matriarchy. And the same goes for Old.George and his “Mother Nature.” /s

Reply to  Pflashgordon
August 10, 2020 7:08 am

I remember the Flash Gordon serials.
Because “Mother Nature” is a bitch I used the feminine. She doesn’t listen to prayer nor give a damn nor blessing.
She has but one commandment: My Way. Period.

August 10, 2020 6:56 am

An inspired beginning. But restoring science to its institutions, which are driven by money, has a long way to go.

The disease will be cured only when the infection of public funds has been removed – by those who control it.

August 10, 2020 7:03 am

The one disagreement I have with his statement is:

“Science is just THAT the opinion changes when the facts change.”

Facts don’t change! What changes is our understanding of facts (reality) that changes. Reality is what it is, regardless of what post-modernists think. Our understanding, not opinion, is what counts.

August 10, 2020 7:19 am

Mr. Nuhr is a person who stands in the middle of our society and is committed to science and rational discourse.

To what extent was their decision to uncensor driven by their assessment that Nuhr is not “one of them”?

Wolf at the door
August 10, 2020 7:58 am

Greta’s latest hit song
“I Believe”(sung to the tune of “I Believe” -oddly enough)
I BELIEVE by Greta Thunberg
I believe for every drop of fossil fuel,the planet fries
I believe for every puff of CO2
A human dies.
I believe the science of the hockey stick
Though some may say- that Mann’s a prxck
I believe,I believe

I believe for every solar panel made
A flower grows
I believe the UN and IPCC
Should say what goes
Every time I see a flashing turbine slash
Into the sky – and watch birds die – then I know why
I believe !

August 10, 2020 8:00 am

One of the ‘dark sides’ of science has always been that facts and opinion get mixed up and that ‘chasing funding’ as long been a feature and clearly there is a lot more to chase and it will be a shorter chase if pick the right areas and offer the ‘right results ‘
The ‘purity of science’ as often been a myth rather than a fact .

August 10, 2020 9:06 am

Science is a philosophy and practice in a limited or near-frame of reference, separable from philosophy in general, fantasy, and faith. Religion, or its relativistic cousin “ethics”, is a behavioral protocol. For example, though shall not commit elective abortion of wholly innocent human lives for political and social progress.

August 10, 2020 10:11 am

Censoring is what happens when liberal arts majors get involved in trying to control science. Most of them know nothing about science, and base their decisions on what is politically correct instead of scientific truth. I don’t mean to insult all liberal arts majors, since some do understand how science is suppose to operate.

Paul Johnson
August 10, 2020 2:05 pm

“Scientists who make their findings public and describe options for political action are increasingly the target of unobjective attacks and personal defamation.”
Scientists who describe “options for political action” are no longer scientists, but are seeking to become political actors. They should make their findings public and leave the political options to the body politic. If not, they should be held accountable for using “science” to buttress their political views.

August 10, 2020 3:31 pm

“Scientists who make their findings public and describe options for political action are increasingly the target of unobjective attacks and personal defamation. This also applies to social movements”

Yet in their mea culpa they still throw in this anti-science comment. Scientists search for truth, they don’t advocate for political action. Orders of magnitude more people who speak out against climate change dogma are targeted than those *brave* climate change activist scientists. This is a sorry not sorry apology.

John Endicott
Reply to  WR2
August 12, 2020 5:17 am

Indeed. If you are an advocate for political action, you are not practicing science/not a scientist regardless of what you call yourself or what degrees you hold. You can either be a scientist or a political advocate. Pick one because you can’t be both.

August 10, 2020 6:53 pm

Funny detail about Dieter Nuhr is that he is actually a founding member of Germany’s Green Party “Die Grünen”. Nowadays he proclaims himself as not affiliated with any party.

Well, that’s how a satirist should be. No friends, only possible enemies.

But anyway, the DFG is undermined by marxist submarines in many fields already. Public communication probably one of them. I am quite convinced that some of the scientific advisory board who still do decent science forced the foundation to apology. Cause to back down was very unscientific. The statement might have been provocative but advocating science. That is what the foundation should be standing for.

James McGinn
August 11, 2020 12:12 pm

Meteorology has always been a secular religion:
The religion that science has become and the realization of vortice plasma
James McGinn / Genius

August 17, 2020 10:32 am

The censorship of science and the ridiculing scientists who do not get on board the prevailing paradigm is a fact. Just ask Judy Curry.

Courage is one of the most admirable and human characteristics, and one of the characteristics that is in shortest supply in western civilization today. It took real courage to do what Judy Curry did, and to me she is a hero of science for doing so.

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