The Government Corruption of Science

Opinion by Andy May

I wrote my latest book, Politics and Climate Change: A History, because I recognized that government funding of scientific research was corrupting science. We were warned this might happen by President Eisenhower in his farewell address to the public, where he said:

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.” (Eisenhower, 1961)

How right he was.

Federal money allows unelected and protected civil service bureaucrats to control scientific research. They dictate the projects, and often outcomes. They use selective leaks to the press to embarrass any elected politicians who try to interfere with their control over research. The bureaucrats trade in fear and relish it. Politicians who disagree with them are suppressing or ignoring “science.” To them science is not a search for the truth, it is a dogma that must be believed. Worse, they believe a consensus of experts is scientific fact. Science is a method of disproving consensus opinion with observational facts, analysis, and reason. It is a methodology, honed over centuries, that allows one person to show everyone else they are wrong. Science is the opposite of political consensus.

Government money clearly does not improve research, the theoretical estimates of the impact of man-made CO2 have not narrowed in 41 years, as we discussed in our last two posts, here and here. Despite billions in government spending, the IPCC AR5 report (IPCC, 2013) still says the impact of doubling CO2 is between 1.5°C and 4.5°C, exactly the same range given in the Charney Report (Charney, et al., 1979). Empirical observation-based estimates, like the one by Nic Lewis and Judith Curry (Lewis & Curry, 2018), have narrowed, but these were not government funded. The funding did not improve science, it was not intended to improve the science, it was political.

The bureaucrats use an ignorant and compliant news media to demonize any privately funded scientific research as “corrupted” by “evil” corporations. The bureaucrats enlist the support of non-profit activists, supported by giant foundations, owned, and controlled by billionaires. These billionaires seek influence and political power. The non-profits, in turn, lobby the press to get their version of the story out. Every company doing independent research is compared to an evil tobacco company and accused of lying to the public. The book contains many examples of this.

This demonization is an attempt to deny corporations, farmers, and workers a voice in debates over government regulations and environmental issues. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is a left-wing advocacy non-profit organization that pretends to be scientific. It is well known for slanting its “research” to get desired results (Activist Facts, 2020). Their report, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose (Grifo, Halpern, & Hansel, 2012), is a blatant attempt to suppress any scientific debate of government regulations by private corporations. The science is not debated or explained, one can imagine journalists and non-profits funded by billionaires saying, “The public doesn’t need to understand this, we tell them what to think!”

In the words of the Australian wordsmith, Joanne Nova:

“A trial without a defense is a sham

Business without competition is a monopoly

Science without debate is propaganda

Remember this the next time someone says the “science is settled.”

Grifo, et al. complain that there is “inappropriate influence of companies with a financial stake in the outcome.” If the companies have a financial stake in the outcome, they should be involved in the regulatory debate, how can it be otherwise in a republic? These companies have a first amendment right to be involved. Grifo, et al. are demanding what President Eisenhower feared, “public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite” (Eisenhower, 1961).

President Eisenhower had two fears, he was worried that scientists would take over public policy and that government officials would control scientific research and outcomes. We now have a devilish combination of the two.

Why have privately funded research?
The UCS fears that companies will be dishonest. They do not believe companies should use litigation to threaten their opponents into being silent, change their views, or destroy their reputations. They also fear that corporations will not be transparent (Grifo, Halpern, & Hansel, 2012, p. 45). Yet as explained in Chapter 3 of our book, the UCS did all these things when they attacked ExxonMobil in the “ExxonKnew” campaign. We expect people to be aggressive in a debate, but we need the debate, and we need both sides to be in it. If one side is excluded or suppressed in any fashion, our republic is gone, and a dictatorship or oligarchy is formed.

In the 19th and pre-WWII 20th century universities and private sector corporations and individuals worked closely together on research and academic programs. This was a good combination; universities tailored their degree programs and their research toward what industry needed. This supplied the corporations with well-trained employees and helped develop new products that improved the world.

The post-war explosion of federal funding of research is beginning to slow and simultaneously business funding has been increasing since about 2005. This is a good trend, but unfortunately, federal spending on research is still almost double corporate spending (Mervis, 2017). As a result, university research is still more oriented toward government projects than business ventures and the government projects tend toward fearmongering projects like climate change, rather than projects that create new products and better society. We believe government funding of research should be no more than corporate funding, and ideally zero because the government tends to fund projects that are political, destructive, and divisive.

Japan (Kazuyuki & Shingo, 2011) and China have many business-oriented university projects with American companies. However, the projects in China are often with American companies like Microsoft or Google and are designed to steal U.S. technology (Song, 2008). Estimates vary, but Chinese intellectual property theft amounts to $225 billion to $600 billion per year according to many sources (Huang & Smith, 2019). According to the National Law Review:

“China’s typical modus operandi is to steal American IP, replicate it, replace the U.S. company originating that IP in the Chinese domestic market, then displace the United States in the global market.” (Laufman, Casino, & Kasdan, 2020)

In the United States, liberal non-profit organizations, the news media, and some in government have driven a wedge between the natural collaboration of universities and business by demonizing the businesses and any funding they provide to universities. This has hurt the businesses, the universities, and research in general. It only helps our global competitors. University climate change research is oriented toward creating elaborate scenarios that predict the end of the earth. The scenarios are used to try and eliminate millions of jobs in the fossil fuel industry. They want to create fear in the public and make them more manageable. This increases government power since the public will often give up their rights and their jobs to gain security.

In the 1970s, the news media predicted we would all die due to global cooling as explained in Chapter 6 of our book. Some scientists even blamed human emissions of CO2 for the cooling. The media love a good disaster prediction and if humans are to blame, the story is even better. Then warming began and again CO2 was the reason. Now we are all going to die from CO2-caused global warming. The shameless media didn’t apologize or even blink, they published that as well. When global cooling begins again, as it inevitably will, count on the media to find a compliant scientist to blame CO2.

It isn’t just the government funding. Media attention motivates universities to come up with scary end-of-the-world stories, rather than products that improve and save lives. Media attention means more government money. As government money begins to drive university research, the universities become more isolated from the businesses they are supposed to be training employees for. Students want high-profile government jobs so they can save the world and ignore the more beneficial and productive jobs in industry. Those jobs go overseas.

University tuition and costs have gone up, but even accounting for increasing college costs, on average attending college is still worth it (Abel & Deitz, 2014). This may not be the case in the future, technology may erode the premium that college graduates can demand in the marketplace (Staton, 2014).

This is all happening as the United States has allowed our technology to be stolen by China and other countries. Onerous regulations, justified by sketchy and secret EPA funded research have forced high-paying, high value-add, manufacturing overseas. Other excessive regulations, often designed and justified with secret government scientific research, have made some extraction businesses (mining, oil, and gas) in the United States excessively expensive or economically impossible.

We are not only sending technology, manufacturing, and extraction overseas, we are simultaneously killing it in the United States and in Europe. As high value-add jobs and high salaries leave, the value of a university education becomes less. Service industry jobs, such as mowing lawns, waitressing, or becoming a store clerk, pay less and these are the jobs laid off technology, manufacturing, and extraction labor are forced into. These jobs do not require university degrees, but many with college degrees are forced into them when the sectors they work in disappear. The universities helped engineer the decline in western technology, manufacturing, and extraction and now they are engineering their own decline.

Businesses are far less likely to trust university educations as they become less involved in degree programs. Students are graduating with more debt as costs go up and make less income to pay it back. Many degrees have become valueless. It has been estimated that student debt exceeds 1.5 trillion dollars in the U.S. (Hanson, 2020). This debt slows home buying, marriage and child-rearing, the most important stimulants to our economy.

Victor Davis Hanson speculated in National Review that universities are sowing the seeds of their own obsolescence (Hanson, 2020). He is correct. To make universities more relevant to our nation, youth, and economy, we must drastically reduce or eliminate government funded university research.

Defense research, of necessity, must remain under government control and must be done in secret. But, except for defense, the government should withdraw from research funding. Universities need to reform and enlarge their relationships with private industry. Cutting off government funding of research would force this to occur. They must orient their research toward productive areas that create new products, improve our wellbeing, and expand the economy. Their faculties will be forced to move in the same direction and produce better workers for industry. The doom-and-gloom orientation of much of our university Earth science research today is poisonous and destructive.

The media have made scientists into gods that spout “truth” and “prove” things. Neither is possible, as we have seen, scientists only propose temporary ideas and then attempt to disprove them. Truths, or more accurately facts, only exist until disproven. Politicians choose scientists that “prove” things convenient to politicians. Witness the corruption of the scientists in the IPCC, as described in Chapter 7 and elsewhere in the book.

Socrates was a scientist who was killed by politicians in 399BC. Socrates believed that people should question everything. His discussions were full of questions, the questions led to more questions, it was his way of learning and teaching. He never proved anything, but he learned. Finally, by questioning the local gods and religion, he was killed. He defied the consensus with his skepticism and died for it (World History edu, 2020). Scientific debate is essential, and the less popular debater should not be jailed or killed.

The public and the news media, who should be asking probing questions, have become convinced that they cannot understand science. They are reduced to asking scientists to spoon feed them sound bites. With a little work, most lay people can understand scientific papers and they should try. Relying on politicians, scientists, and the media to tell us what is happening is not acceptable. Scientists should write more that can be understood by lay people, as John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius did. Scientists should graduate from writing plots for disaster movies to working to improve our lives. The news media are awful at writing about science because they often have no interest in what is true, they just want attention.

This opinion is condensed from Chapter 8 of Politics and Climate Change: A History

The bibliography can be downloaded here.

182 thoughts on “The Government Corruption of Science

  1. As in your previous post, you are very, very wrong.
    Fundamental or basic science is often extremely expensive and has mostly no immediate profit so government funding is essential. Think about NSF and projects like DKIST and LIGO and internationally CERN. Or in earlier times the DARPA (gave us the internet) and the GPS. What Socrates (read Plato’s The Republic) was advocating was government by an educated elite (not by lawyers as we have today, taking money from corporations and wealthy people. We have the “best government money can buy”). What we need is better ‘oversight’.

    • “What we need is better ‘oversight’.”
      Leif, I totally agree with that statement. What we have now is corrupt oversite.
      We also need an end to Pal Review and institute real peer review. A good start there would be to end Publish or Perish.
      We need to have the Universities welcome free and open debate on Climate Science rather than censuring and firing those that disagree with those on the government dole.

      • Better oversight is not possible so long as it’s being funded by government.
        This is the basic blind spot of progressives, they actually believe that government is capable of providing oversight on itself.

    • Leif, we disagree, not unusual. DARPA and GPS came from defense research, which I certainly support. I suspect that DKIST and LIGO could have raised private funding if our billionaires stopped spending hundreds of millions of dollars buying politicians and votes.

      The trial of Socrates in 399BC accused and convicted him of impiety and corruption of the youth of the city. The corruption charge was for his questions, posed to his students, about philosophy, and politics. He did not advocate any form of government as far as I recall, he simply ask them questions. This is why he was killed by the jury. The source is not The Republic, the source is the Apology of Socrates, also by Plato. Another source is Xenophon, also called the Apology of Socrates.

        • Leif, The post mentions the death of Socrates and why he was killed. Plato’s Republic is unrelated to Socrates death or his trial. We don’t need to go off on unrelated tangents. Plato wrote The Republic some 25 years after Socrates was killed. I don’t understand why you even brought it into the conversation.

          • Because you brought in Socrates [which is really irrelevant, so get off that horse].
            The point was made by Plato in The Republic:
            We need rulers that are elite philosophers [modern lingo: scientists].
            And not beholden to money or power.
            But your whole post is fundamentally and deeply wrong.
            So many misconceptions that it is hard to know where to begin.

          • Leif, Like Karl Popper, I try and distinguish Plato’s ideas from Socrates’. Plato was much more totalitarian than Socrates. But, with the critical exception of Socrates’ death, you are right, the topic is extraneous to the discussion. Socrates death, as a result of his opinions, is relevant given today’s left calling for us on the right to be punished or even killed for our beliefs. As for my ideas, they are my opinions, and you are free to disagree and argue your points. I will read them and consider them.

          • What an ego you got their Leif.
            Socrates was not unrelated, it was the point. That is what government does to skeptial voices.

            You were attempting to refute a claim that Socrates did not advocate any form of government by bringing up a book written by someone else 25 years after Socrates died.

            Can’t you just admit that you made a mistake? For once?

          • MarkW: Mr. Svalgaard’s silence indicates he agrees with you, he cannot admit error, not even once. Gov’t funding had one good result, therefore it is all good. Bad results and corruption can be brushed aside. Such an esteemed scientist, blind to his own loose thinking. Of course, that’s just one point, and Mr. May is wrong about everything. Can’t wait for the other shoe to drop.

          • One of the reasons why the debt was so high during the Reagan years was because universities or their affiliated institutions and NASA continued to get the same research dollars at the same time that defense needed those research dollars even though they had become bifurcated after the Vietnam war. The administration had no choice but to agree to massive deficit spending because of that, even though more dollars shouldn’t have been appropriated but dollars should have been reallocated. In hindsight, it’s very clear why Democrats insisted upon that.

        • The Peloponnesian War ended in 401BC and it was a bit of disaster for Athens. Following the end of the war Athens became oligarchy with tyrannical tendency. Socrates was an eccentric philosopher admired by the Athenian youth, but his teaching were not to liking to the new establishment; they brought him to trial and he died in 399BC. Plato supported restoration of democracy but after Socrates’ death he devoted himself to continuing the work of his great teacher and a decade or so later founded ‘the Academy’ where the best known student was Aristotle. At the Academy he wrote ‘The Republic’, the work that turned out to be the world’s most influential political theory. It states that oligarchy is exacerbating social divisions between a few of rich and the majority of poor. The oligarchy eventually may turn to tyranny to protect itself. The social inequalities and tyranny combined will lead to revolt by the underclass establishing a democracy. It warns that the populism in the democracy may lead to a mob rule, a word of warning from the nearly two and half millennia ago, since some political commentators characterise two or three of the current western democratic governments (without naming names) as populist.

      • It’s significant that you specifically write “except for defense” because until the baby boom the vast majority of public dollars that were spent on research were, in fact, spent by defense. Sixties NASA was defense. Throughout the 19th century and even into the 20th century almost nil was spent on public research and look at how far we came. The land-grant universities were still rather insignificant until near the very end of that century. Something changed right around the time that the baby boom came onto the scene, the Vietnam war, and this happened:

        The bifurcation of public universities and defense appear to be a very significant fork. Even as defense dollars left campus, campuses continued to receive the exact same amount of dollars. What should have happened is that as defense dollars left campus, that money shouldn’t have been replaced. I suppose that’s how we ended up with so many tax dollars spent on clearly frivolous studies, environmental science, gender transition medicine, and critical race theory.

      • Leif and Andy – re governments, you are both hopeless optimists. Watch the video.
        Best, Allan


        TOLD YOU SO, ONE YEAR AGO: Here is my warning, published one year ago in Fall 2019, before the Canadian election.

        October 1, 2019 – My paper, edited with the Financial Post but not published in that paper.

        September 20, 2019 – My original paper – By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng.,
        Previously posted:


        20 minute video – Premiered Oct 20, 2020.

        Last 2 minutes of the above video.

        • Allan,
          Turdeau is just an actor syphoning big$ for CoVid and CliSci….the media now gets direct payments for following the party line….gave a $237 million contract to one of his exMP’s who formed the company a week before the contract award, $100 million profit in it. In the media…..nearly crickets….

          or the original Montreal version here

        • My American friends – this is what the radical Dems have planned for you. It is international.

          We stand at the abyss. If Biden wins, it will be one man, one vote, once – the end of freedom. Europe and Canada have already fallen far down that “road to Venezuela”. If America falls, there will be nowhere left to run to.

          Regards, Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng.

          Trudeau Gives Away The Game: Says Pandemic Is Opportunity For “Reset”
          NewsSpencerFernandoNovember 15, 2020

          What was once called a conspiracy theory is now confirmed by Trudeau, as we can see the elites using this crisis as an excuse to centralize power and reshape our lives in their own image.
          Justin Trudeau has admitted it.
          The pandemic crisis is being exploited by our ‘leaders’ to bring in a ‘great reset,’ and reshape the entire world in a way they could have never gotten away with before.
          He said it on video.
          Here it is:
          “Leader of Canada admitting that COVID is an excuse to institute a new global economic order.
          The “reset” and “build back better”.”
          This is extremely disturbing.
          Trudeau is openly admitting that this deadly pandemic – which has claimed thousands of Canadian lives – is being used an excuse to ‘reset,’ and meet UN goals.
          Of course, Canadians – and people around the world – haven’t asked for that.
          We want our lives to get back to normal.
          We want the vulnerable protected.
          We want businesses to flourish and grow.
          But none of that is being offered to us by those in charge.
          Instead they offer only more fear, more control, more centralization, and a reshaping of our lives and our economy without even asking us.
          That isn’t leadership, it’s domination, and it’s the opposite of what we are supposed to expect from those we elect.
          Justin Trudeau again shows that he has no interest in serving the Canadian People, but is instead pushing an agenda that our country didn’t ask for and our people don’t want.
          Spencer Fernando

          • As a libertarian I thought the radical expansion of state governors’ powers this year was obvious to everyone but “It’s for our own good” is what I hear.

            Your comments sometimes may seem radical but … but what is happening is radical.

            The biggest expansion of government power in my 67 year lifetime, and no regard for state constitutions that are supposed to limit government power.

            Dumbocrats never cared about the federal constitution to limit central government power.

            I believe there was enough fraud in election 2020 to strongly suggest the “fix” was in.

            With Republicans doing so well, except Trump, and Biden barely campaigning, as if that wasn’t necessary.

            I wrote seven short articles on election fraud at my politics blog yesterday that may interest you. There is very little time to prove election fraud, but that doesn’t mean nothing happened.


          • Richard Greene: Thank you for your posts at

            Yes the election was rigged. Quoting attorney Sidney Powell:

            Powell says she has enough evidence to launch a serious criminal investigation. “We’re fixing to overturn the election results in multiple states and President Trump won by not just hundreds of thousands of votes but by millions of votes that were shifted by this software that was designed expressly for that purpose,” Powell explained.

            “We have sworn witness testimony about why the software was designed. It was designed to rig elections.”

            The attorney said the campaign has a sworn affidavit from a person who knows how the system works and was allegedly there when the system was being created and implemented. The witness is someone who has seen elections rigged in other countries. Those same tactics and software were allegedly deployed to the United States.

          • Agreed – and hiding under the blissful belief that people have that ‘they’d never do that’ or ‘it couldn’t happen here’.

            It has. IS.

            Frankly, you have to be a fool not to see it.

          • Joel,
            The fake dossier that started the Mueller investigation funded by Hillary and the DNC.
            (Not to mention how the DNC sabotaged Bernie in the primaries in favor of Hillary)
            The all so bogus “impeachment” of Trump for a “quid pro quo” he never did while Biden bragged about actually doing it while he was VP

            All done to overturn the 2016 election.
            How could ANYBODY think they wouldn’t do anything to overturn the 2020 election in “realtime”?
            PS Trump launched a commission to ensure the integrity of the US election process shortly after he was elected. It went nowhere because of states that wouldn’t cooperate.
            Any guesses as to which ones?

          • ‘How could ANYBODY think they wouldn’t do anything to overturn the 2020 election in “realtime”?’

            You have to control the message (censorship), and you have to sell it to people who want to believe (appeal to people’s bigotries) and this is what progressives do.

          • Thank you DMacKenzie,

            I understand that graft-ridden contracts like the overpriced ventilator purchase scam are being signed by the Trudeau government every day – you can be assured that kickbacks to the Liberal Party and its leadership are part of the deal.

            The Canadian Liberal Party is utterly incompetent except for one special talent in which they excel – graft/corruption is their core competence. Justin Trudeau, a man of no education and no life achievements, has this one core competence in abundance. He has surpassed former PM’s Jean Chretien and his own father Pierre Trudeau in the graft game – his dépravation has reached new heights – he is the new king of Quebec “patronage”. Attaboys all around.

          • Posted ~31Aug2020 – before the USA election.


            Vivian Krause has documented approx $600 million in largely-USA money that has been spent in Canada by leftist green groups to sabotage the Canadian economy – most of that to oppose needed oil pipelines. The money has been used in part to fund huge demonstrations where the demonstrators are paid. Many of them don’t even know what they are protesting – they just show up, carry signs, and make trouble. The Alberta government has conducted an inquiry into this covert funding – Phase 1 was completed on 31Jan2020 and Phase 2 is underway. The money is funneled through the Tides Foundation and several others, and leftist enviro groups like Greenpeace. etc.


            The same funding sources are probably financing the leftist rioters in USA cities, such as Antifa and BLM. This is all part of a larger scam to steal the US election. Other parts of the scam include the full-Gulag lockdown of the workforce in response to a relatively mild flu that is really only harmful to the elderly and infirm – who are not in the workforce. I published that observation on 21Mar2020.

            Watch this video about the Covid scam:

            Wasn’t it Hillary who said “never underestimate the stupidity of the Democrat voter”? That observation is key to understanding the Leninist strategy of the USA Marxist-Dems.

          • Here is a video by Vivian Krause that outlines the deliberate sabotage of Canada’s economy by radical environmentalists, really covert Marxists, funded largely by USA foundations including the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the Moore Foundation and others, often funneled through the Tides Foundation.

            The Alberta government has now traced about one billion dollars of largely USA-based leftist-foundation funds spent to oppose pipelines, costing Canada about $250 billion in lost oil revenues. Alberta should publish its findings without further delay. This foreign funding uses the false smokescreen of the environment to severely damage our economy and sabotage our democracy. The foreign influence on Canada and our economy is extreme, toxic and should be subject to strong criminal prosecution.

            The Justin Trudeau Liberal Government is heavily influenced by these foreign radicals and is now openly committed to a Marxist Canada. Canada has fallen to the Marxists and is far down the poverty road to Venezuela.
            WATCH THIS VIDEO:

          • Typo: $120 billion cost to Canada, not $250 billion

            But if we do nothing, as we have done nothing for a decade or more, the cost will double to $250 billion.

            Our politicians are asleep – or complicit in this theft.

      • I once lamented that there was so little attention paid to teaching at Craggy Ledge University*. My boss, the head of the Astronomy Dept., said, “Jorge, you may be under the impression that here at CLU research comes first and teaching second. I can assure that is not true. At CLU, research comes second. Committee work comes first; teaching is third.”

        * Not its real name.

    • Yes, better oversight is needed.

      Many U.S. government labs are run by private companies. These companies have lobbyists and their senior management make millions. They donate to politicians and encourage employees to do the same. There is a huge kickback component involved in government funded research.

        • Andy,
          What happened to this Prof Shukla matter?
          Was it merely buried as not worthy of investigation?
          There was talk at one time of getting the FBI in, but since then the motivation of the FBI is becoming increasingly unclear. At least to me. Geoff S

          • Geoff, What Shukla did was against the rules and unethical, but apparently not illegal. This is probably also true of the Clinton Foundation and the Hunter Biden scandal. This should tell you all you need to know about allowing the government to manage our money. One witty commentator noted the NSF should be named the NSSF for their proclivity to fund stupid social science projects. From the Hoover Institution:

            Because money is fungible, federal agencies are, in effect, funding nonsensical research on baby naming and meditation therapy at the expense of science’s Next Big Thing. As Coburn said in the introduction to his study of nsf: “A dollar lost to mismanagement, fraud, inefficiency, or a dumb project is a dollar that could have advanced scientific discovery. This report alone documents at least $65 million in wasteful spending on low-priority projects, $19 million lost to fraud, $1.2 billion in duplication, and $1.9 billion in other forms of mismanagement. Altogether this report identifies over $3 billion lost to waste, fraud, duplication, and mismanagement.”

    • The government doesn’t want oversight of themselves./i>

      Good day Leif; this isn’t an argument, and it’s not about you, but I do take this seriously, personally.

      I can see some of Andy’s points, and allow me to explain using our common experience from Tucson this year, the Sun-Climate Symposium, where some of NASA team – not all of them – were absolutely not interested in hearing anything regarding natural climate change. They didn’t want to hear other opinions that don’t jive with the climate consensus. How will NASA and the US government, and the UN learn and recognize it’s misplaced climate priorities and act accordingly if their core operating beliefs and principles are provably misguided and wrong?

      How can new work, ideas, and better models get accepted in the current political environment?

      This applies just as much to Covid19 as to climate change. Do only government employees possess the knowledge and wisdom to correctly discern the real situation? The takeover of public policy for the financial benefit and monopoly by pharmacuetical companies (and the media) in the case of CV19 was done by a very select and small group, outside of any “oversight”, including objective media oversight.

      Where is the public oversight for Dr. Fauci’s imperious groups? Where is the public oversight for the AGW consensus’ episodic ‘human-induced’ climatic group psychosis? When and under what circumstances do the public have a say in policies that directly affect them when the other side either buys off via money from grants/contributions/advertising, or uses other forms of consensus-making outside of democratic methods, outside of public oversight?

      None, because as Dr. Fauci said the other day, ‘Do what you’re told’. Is that democracy? Fauci doesn’t represent me, he wasn’t elected, he has no authority nor does any of his one size fits all solutions to what appears to be no worse than a bad flu/cold season.

      ‘Cases’ don’t equate to sicknesses, being a small fraction, yet they are treated as lepers.

      Or worse, when the least able to resist are the first to be targeted and manipulated:

      Officials Demand Mandatory Coronavirus Vaccination, Else Thou Shalt Not Eat

      Everything we see in the media is rigged from on high – where’s their oversight?

      Fundamental or basic science is often extremely expensive and has mostly no immediate profit so government funding is essential.

      It has cost over $10K out of pocket over the last 6 years for me to have computing resources and attend conferences to just begin to change people’s perspective on what is natural vs man-made climate change, with no income let alone profit. In that time I have resolved solar-driven natural climate change into sharp focus empirically, in spite of being overmatched in every way by government and NGOs and big money. But can that good news be said out loud in coming years, or will it be demonized and denounced by the government and science groups because it goes against their consensus and action schemes?

      I pity the younger generations who are being victimized by having bright futures stolen.

    • Which includes stating the objectives for any and all expenditures, Leif, complete with discussion on the evening news for all to see. Now that we have 24 hour news and social media there is no excuse for not having complete disclosure for all government spending not just Science Projects. Private enterprise operates for profit. Government should operate by consent of the governed for the good of the whole society. If Science needs money for a profitable project they need to seek funding from the private sector within the framework of the laws. If the project is altruistic then the Scientists need to make their case for taxpayer funds to the politicians not unelected bureaucrats.

      Here in the States they corrupted the system by allowing unelected bureaucrats at the ever expanding regulatory level to move Billions, collectively over time, Trillions of taxpayer dollars to buy the best Science Central Authoritarians can buy in order to tighten their control over the great unwashed masses.

      You see the truth in part, Leif, but you not completing the tapestry. Here in our Represented Republic Crony Capitalist buy the Politicians. Demoplicans and Republicrats both, no matter who wins they are indebted.

      They, the crooked politicians, are instructed who to put in charge of an unconstitutional and free wheeling Regulatory Body who then subsequently do the bidding of the Faceless Monied Elite. The Kstreet lawyers, read lobbyists, work for the Corporatocracy. They maneuver the legislators with kick-backs and committee (dues payable) seats to establish workarounds for both: the laws on the books and whenever they are forced by the culture to enact rare new legislation so that both work to the advantage of the Corporatocracy.

      Then to distract the great unwashed masses, the Propaganda Press plays out this scripted Kabuki Theater between the Demoplicans and Republicrats to make the dumbed down Public School graduates believe their is a difference between the two parties. Ergo you get 24 hour soap opera news such as a Supreme Court Nominees accused of being a sexual predator because a fellow high school student comes forward accusing him of laying on top of her while they were both wearing bathing suits, at a High School swim party from 40 years ago despite the fact that no other students remember the assault and few even remember attending the party and most don’t even remember the accuser.

      In the meantime, while all gap mouth faces are tuned to “As the Nomination Turns”, the government bureaucracy at the behest of the Faceless Monied Elite are moving middle class taxes around from government to private sector science universities and institutions that have become addicted to and dependent upon other peoples money and will get the bureaucrats and lawyers what ever result they desire, just send more money.

      You want to say the globe is warming irreversibly because man burns fossil fuel which has increased atmospheric CO2 from 200 parts per million parts all the way up to 400 parts per 1,000,000 parts and that only obeisance to Centarl Authoritarian Government can save the children? NO PROBLEM. But, ist going to cost you a TRillion Dollars per decade and here is the list of organizations that you will need to pay and their share of the taxpayer extortion.

    • It really amazes me how progressives manage to convince themselves that only government is pure, and that government is always pure.

      Using your illogic, we should still be living in caves, since only government is capable of doing basic research.

    • Leif, with all due respect, I disagree that the government should be the funded source of basic science. When I was an employee of CONOCO the Research Department, located in Ponca City, OK, worked on flourescing oil with ultraviolet lasers. I interacted with the research team because it had some apparent mineral exploration adaptions also. They could detect ship paths in the ocean by the flourescing of leakage oil left behind. The (insert your favorite 3 letter clandestine services group) took over the project because it also could follow submarines. The strength of the laser tuned to the max flourescence of various lubricant products was the key. This is only one example of private research, utilizing science, that got results the government could not. I have other stories, especially interaction with the EG&G research lab at Nellis, that show the same thing. Not to disparage the good scientists in the government imployee, but private enterprise beats them most of the time.

      • Ron, My own example. Lithium batteries were invented by Exxon’s research lab. Another, Bell Labs invented the transistor. The later invention of the “CPU chip,” the invention that truly created the world we live in today, came from Texas Instruments, Westinghouse, Fairchild, Rockwell, and Data General. As usual the government had nothing to do with it.

        • Surely you know we have “computer chips” only because NASA’s mission absolutely demanded them. In other words the National Aeronautics and Space Admin science driven mission.

          We have nuclear power only because of a national mission. We will get fusion only when the US again recovers its original intent – progress.

          Unfortunately the London School of Economics ideologues here parading von Hayek have not the slightest intention of allowing the US to recover that mission oriented approach. Imagine “scientists” propounding research arising spontaneously, unknowably from the complexity of the “market” – von Hayek’s mummery.

          As the shrinking Queen said when Apollo 11 landed ” we are so small”. Yes, in Lilliput.

      • Perhaps on little, isolated things, but not on the large issues with very many parts and thousands of people involved (DKIST,LIGO,CERN,…) where most of the money go.

        • Leif, I’ll give you the Manhatten Project, but that’s it. Where the money goes is irrelevant to where results are obtained.

          • Leif has mentioned CERN a couple of times now.
            Perhaps he would care to share with us what breakthrough ie New science that they have produced.
            They appear to be, like thousands of scientists, merely trying to confirm the Old science.

            If this Company’s story is actually true then I strongly suggest that they will have privately done more for mankind than CERN will ever do.
            Watch the videos for yourselves and make your own judgements.

        • Pat Frank, Lasers were invented at Bell labs, they filed for the patent in 1958. The Maser was invented simultaneously in Russia and Canada. Probably the Russian work was government funded, but I don’t think the Canadian work was.

        • Although fluorescence was recognized long ago, the invention of the fluorescence spectrometer is credited to physicist/mathematician George Gabriel Stokes of Stokes’ law, Navier-Stokes equations fame. He was at Cambridge at the time.

        • The first laser followed the first maser, Andy. Both are stimulated emission devices. Einstein deduced the possibility in 1916.

          Here‘s a history. Charles Townes invented the maser sometime before 1954. He was at Columbia University.

          It was only later that the idea of stimulated emission, once the success of the maser made it known to be a physical reality, was extended to infrared frequencies. That happened at Bell Labs. All of the spade work was done in academic research labs.

          An interesting sidelight from the short APS history, is that, “Many theorists had told Townes his device couldn’t possibly work.” But, as we know, it did work.

          Many a beautiful theoretical result has been wrecked on the shores of an ugly experiment. And where would we be without that? 🙂

    • Back in the 1940’s, we were at War. Government funding towards engineering and science had to produce results or it was cut off. We faced a REAL threat.
      The politicians knew it and approved funding for what worked.
      Today, we are NOT faced with such enemies of freedom.
      What we have today are politicians that have grabbed onto CAGW as an excuse to gain political power.
      They only fund the “Climate Science” that produces the results they want.
      “CAGW” is a SciFi enemy.
      They know that, but anything to achieve the political goal of stuff like “The Green New Deal”.
      (Not climate related but, did you know that in one of Dems’ “Covid Relief” bills was a provision that mailed-in ballot signatures would NOT be checked against voter registration signatures?
      Different “crisis”, same goal.)

      FB FOUNDED FEB 4, 2004.

    • To Leafgarrd
      What we need are better commenters !
      The government is a monopoly.
      No one oversees a monopoly.
      There is no profit incentive.
      Other than research for better weapons, which could not be sold to other governments or civilians, there is no logical reason for any government interference with science.

      To Andy Maybe:
      You wrote:
      “Government money clearly does not improve research, the theoretical estimates of the impact of man-made CO2 have not narrowed in 41 years … ”
      SO WHAT ?
      My climate forecast for 100 years in the future has not changed in over 50 years. I am sure it is going to be warmer, unless it gets colder. I’ve got a huge bet riding on that forecast too. Fourteen dollars and fifty cents. When you are right there is no reason to change your forecast. In fact, if you change your prior forecast, people will claim you didn’t know what you were talking about then, so why should we trust you now? And that’s why the +1.5 to +4.5 can never change, Only losers admit mistakes.

    • “Leif Svalgaard November 15, 2020 at 10:21 am

      We have the “best government money can buy”). What we need is better ‘oversight’.”

      Wrong on all three claims Leif. Very very wrong, in fact.

      • Wrong about Any May having it wrong. Andy is spot on!

      • Wrong about the “best government money can buy”
      I worked in government for my career.
      There may be good people trying to accomplish their best, but they are massively opposed by people who hate and despise those who “rock the boat“.
      And nothing rocks the boat more than new ideas, technology or change!

      • Wrong about better oversight”!
      What is that? A call for new tyrants? A demand for better despots?

      It certainly is not a real expectation that elected and unelected bureaucrats are going to jeopardize their careers fighting a common consensus belief system!

      The trouble with truly gifted leaders in government is that no one in their right mind desires a position where they are responsible for so many people and so much money at pathetic salaries!
      A condition that prevents the best leaders from ever considering running for office.

      Instead, those people running for office tend to be greedy and quite willing to work closely with corrupt organizations; to the detriment of the people!

    • What we need is better ‘oversight’.

      like getting people that know what you know….and agree with you…to approve your papers

      ….peer review

      • Did oversight help with Russia Colluuuusion?

        Seems to be all kinds of oversight in the CIA, FBI and DOJ and they kept that farce going.

    • [blockquote]How Government Built the Computer Industry Not Just the Internet:

      The computer was a war baby. The U.S. Army and Navy, needing fast ways to solve the differential equations they needed to aim long-range guns, funded major research projects. The Army effort, at the University of Pennsylvania, yielded ENIAC. The top engineers on the project, J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly started their own company (soon sold to Sperry Rand) which built the first “private” commercial computer, UNIVAC.

      In addition to being based on ENIAC, UNIVAC incorporated important advances from John von Neumann’s group at the Institute for Advanced Studies as well as work from Maurice Wilkes’ group at the University of Cambridge and Alan Turing’s cryptographic computing efforts at Bletchly Park. All of these efforts were funded by the U.S. and British governments. And the buyer of the first UNIVAC system: The U.S. Census Bureau.

      IBM’s work with the Navy was less groundbreaking, but the company moved into electronic computers in a big way after the war. A declassified history of computing at the National Security Agency shows just how deeply the NSA was involved in the design and development of IBM’s 700-series computers. NSA also paid for development of the first supercomputer, the IBM 7030 Stretch, in the late 1950s and its successor, HARVEST. It really wasn’t until the 1960s that commercial demand for computers eclipsed government purchases and the design of those business systems, such as the IBM 1401, 7090, and System/360, was heavily influenced by the work that had been done on government contracts. [/blockquote]

      • Nonsense on stilts.

        The British built one computer, to help crack codes during the war. That was it.

        Computers used to calculate firing angles were analog computers. They have absolutely nothing in common with digital computers. It was many decades before digital computers were small enough, rugged enough and accurate enough to replace the analog computers.

        IBM etc, built there computers for the business market, that was always their goal.

      • Markx,
        The discussion aside, instead of using “[” and “]” for “blockquotes”, use the “less than”, “greater than” symbols.

    • LIGO and CERN are useful for what? I can see the point of DKIST but many of the massive projects you rave about are just money down the drain, as I see it.

      • How about exploring for rare minerals, Mark? Do all those inevitable dry holes make the effort worthless? Money and effort down the drain?

        Or following out a good idea to see it it works? Time and energy down the drain?

        No one knows what will turn up when following out curiosity-based research.

        LIGO or CERN may produce some unexpected result that produces advanced understanding. We can’t know beforehand, because no one has precocious knowledge of the unknown.

        Some ideas work, some do not. The ideas that did work have more than paid for the ideas that did not.

        The strategy is to search everywhere for the way forward. Encourage people to do what interests them. Some of them will pay off big-time.

        There’s no knowing which direction leads ad astra. We just have to check them all.

        And encouraging the pursuit of new knowledge for its own sake makes a society wise. We’re better off for the effort itself.

    • ‘Basic science is often extremely expensive ‘? Who do you think you’re kidding? Collecting data and research is extremely expensive is it? Why have i got the feeling you’re on a govt payroll?

      When the author quoted JoNova, “science without debate is propaganda”, what does that mean to you? Debate and analysis IS oversight, or at least should be.

      Unfortunately leftism has corrupted almost all media and therefore govt in cowardly tow – which is what the author is pointing to.

    • Leif. I agree. The above article is dead wrong.

      The above article says: “In the United States, liberal non-profit organizations, the news media, and some in government have driven a wedge between the natural collaboration of universities and business by demonizing the businesses and any funding they provide to universities.”

      This is totally untrue in my opinion. Look at the massive funding of universities by food and drug companies, their funding and lobbying of politicians and their funding and control of media – directly by advertising. The corruption of science by these businesses is almost complete – just look at the response to the possible benefits of HCQ in treating CV19 which have been explained many times on this site.

      No, there needs to be a balance between business, government, and the law, and universities should be protected by the state if they are to stand any chance of independent innovative science. The American constitution is a great place to start, it just needs to be enacted faithfully in my opinion.

    • What we need is better ‘oversight’.

      Leif, I agree with this 100%. But it raises the question, from whom? (Or is that, from who? Despite my government (taxpayer)-funded education, I never did figure that one out).

      Who should provide the oversight? Government? Academia?

      The biggest problem here is that government and academia have successfully promoted the lie that industry-funded science is untrustworthy.

    • Government scientists today are little different than the educated clergy of yore , who provided the science of the king’s right to rule by divine providence. The “scientists” then get to share in the plunder of the peasants by the monarchy and the king gets to avoid the messy use of the sword to take away the peasants liberty and property. This “religion” today is Secular Socialism, that deifies government to save us all. The Church of Warming is just one denomination. The scientists that obviously fit this theory are Hansen and Fauci just to name a couple, who have terrified the peasants to follow the deity’s mandates.

    • I must disagree. Prior to the Manhattan Project almost all basic research was conducted by private entities and vast amounts of fundamental knowledge was acquired. The success of DARPA is the rare exception and note that most of DARPA’s projects are not multi-billion dollar operations but small research grants to small groups of researchers.

      One Super Collider project could fund 1000 small research operations from which far more fundamental knowledge would be discovered.

      The case of Samuel Langley vs the Wright Brothers is the paradigmatic case of government funding dead ends. A government backed expert vs two bicycle mechanics in a garage. More basic facts about aerodynamics came about from the Wright’s first wind tunnel than all of the universities staffed with experts who argued from first principles.

      If you want something more modern consider the mapping of the human genome. Craig Venter was able to speed up the program enormously by using better and cheaper techniques. He was not constrained by bureaucracy.

      • The aeronautical engineer and novelist Nevil Shute (R S Norway, 1899-1960), was scathing about State interference in engineering and Science. Shute worked at Vickers on the design of the R100 dirigible, which was in competition with the Government-funded R101. Well, the former proved to be an excellent machine which performed exactly as predicted, whereas the latter was an overweight disaster which crashed on its maiden flight, killing everyone on board.

    • Sorry Dr but in the case of the USA you are very very wrong. The United States Federal government has no right to discriminate by selectively empowering one business over another. And collegiate academics fall into the business category.

      Unfortunately, the USA’s Congress, judiciary and executive are not following their own constitution.

      Your cherry picking of several ‘advancements’ improving mankind do not outweigh the theft of trillions from citizens for the overwhelmingly wasteful/pork barrel projects of the past century.

      Those trillions, if not stolen by the government, would instead power the economic engine and system that blindly, but very accurately drives improvements in the standard of living and technology.

      Politics and science: neither should exert control over the other. Influence, yes, control, no.

      Oh well.

  2. Andy you are absolutely correct when it comes to climate “science”. Even meteorologists need to toe the climate change narrative if they expect to work in their field. People with no background are going into CC because that’s where the money is. Look at all the CC so called ‘research papers’ that are written by people with liberal arts disciplines. There’s nothing saying they aren’t capable of the knowledge but it isn’t an overwhelming curiosity that attracts them ….. it’s the easy money. There’s no other explanation for all the crack pot papers extolling another CC nightmare other than the “published” recognition and chance of becoming more published and a recognized expert in a growing field.

  3. Noam Chomsky has been calling out this kind of thing for years, just from a leftist perspective. link Anyway, the sword cuts both ways.

    Chomsky has amply demonstrated that there are those who can subvert the system and grab the levers of power for their own benefit. What he misses are that there are ideologues who do the same and most of them are on the left. IMHO, they are far more dangerous than those who are merely greedy.

    If you can stomach his politics, Chomsky’s analysis is quite instructive. The ‘climate crisis’ is straight out of Manufacturing Consent.

    • “…. there are those who can subvert the system and grab the levers of power for their own benefit”
      In particular if they are gaggle of women, the squad of four led by AOC will turn the feeble Biden into potter’s putty. Just see what the UK’s sisterhood of four: Carrie, Allegra, Priti and Munira have just done to Boris and his No10’s gang of merry men.

    • Thanks commieBob, This is exactly why we need to break the hold the news media has over us. Trump had this figured out. Being ruled by the media was destroying the country. Ted Cruz complains the Supreme Court was taken over by the New York Times because the Justices were so anxious to have favorable articles written about them. Disgusting. Anyway, this quote rang true:

      “arguing that the mass communication media of the U.S. “are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion”, by means of the propaganda model of communication”

    • Chomsky has said that you should never accept what you read, but be skeptical, distrust everything, look behind the story, do your research and form your own conclusions. Sound advice, is it not?

      But he is now totally on board with the climate change story, even exaggerating the scariest of the scary stories, and making statements like “unchecked, human caused global warming will destroy all life on earth”.

      So what he’s really saying is, be skeptical if you don’t agree with what you’re reading. Bloody hypocrite. I no longer pay any attention to his utterances.

      • Chomsky is a wise man. He once said, “We have already seen that a subset of sentences interesting on quite independent grounds is to be regarded as a general convention regarding the forms of the grammar. It may be, then, that the natural general principle that will subsume this case delimits a descriptive fact. In the discussion of resumptive pronouns following, the systematic use of complex symbols can be defined in such a way as to impose irrelevant intervening contexts in selectional rules. To characterize a linguistic level L, the notion of level of grammaticalness is not subject to an abstract underlying order. Analogously, a case of semigrammaticalness of a different sort is not to be considered in determining problems of phonemic and morphological analysis,” or something very much like that.

        For more Chomsky-style utterances, see the following:

        • Chomsky’s politics distract from the fact that he is a brilliant scholar of linguistics.

          The difference between Chomsky and the average professor of grievance studies or the average postmodernist is that Chomsky’s utterances become understandable if you work at them hard enough. Those other people are just spouting pseudoprofound bullshit that is actually devoid of meaning. Another way to describe it is as word salad.

          However … just because Chomsky can string together complex utterances, it doesn’t mean they are actually correct. Some folks take issue with his theories. link

          The other thing is that, when concepts are being described for the first time, the result is difficult, clumsy, and hard to understand. Again, that isn’t an indication of whether the concept is valid or not. The question is whether the reward is worth the effort. I’m not going to bother trying to decode the utterance you quoted.

          For actual illumination, I suggest Iain McGilchrist. A good place to start is this animation. In his book, The Master and His Emissary, McGilchrist has a great deal to say about language and its development. It’s embedded in context with other things though, so you can’t just go to one page and get the whole deal.

          The thing McGilchrist points out, and which (as far as I can tell) Chomsky misses, is that among other things, language is a tool we use to deceive ourselves and others.

  4. Governments have a pretty poor track record of choosing sucessful technologies. By choosing the wrong solution to a problem companies and the general popuation waste trillions of £/$/€ up blind alleys. In every case the politicians were “following the science”.

    Unfortunately until government/tax payer funded research comes up with a time machine we can’t go back and rerun human development without taxing the population and governments choosing technologies. We could try low tax and a more Laissez-faire approach to technological development. The government should define the what not the how. Perhaps if companies and individuals were allowed to keep more of their money there might be more endowments for universities and other research companies to work without taxpayer funding. Love them or loathe them Elon Musk and Bill Gates are modern day phhilanthropists following a long list.

  5. As to the Union of Concerned Scientists, seems mostly a political document. The State of Science in the Trump Era Damage Done, Lessons Learned, and a Path to Progress

    The sign shown on the cover of the UCS report says “Stand Up For Science, No politics, No boundaries.” They are embracing politics and do not know that science has strict boundaries, not politically determined. The problem is that, also as I read somewhere else, in the totally negative criticism they are missing the bigger picture.

    • “They are embracing politics and do not know that science has strict boundaries, not politically determined.”

      I think that’s a poor assumption on your part. They know exactly what they’re doing.

      • I agree. They know exactly what they are doing… selling their Trojan Horses filled with political agendas. Most the members are barely even related to science as practicing endeavor, and are simply in advocacy positions and selling their credentials for fatter paycheck than comes with the really hard work of practicing actual carefully done science.
        Any critical examination of UCS shows a political-hack filled organization that has zero to do with real, hard-to-do science.

        • Most people don’t like to think of themselves as venal scum bags.

          The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. Feynman

          I’m guessing they actually believe their own claptrap.

          It Is Difficult to Get a Man to Understand Something When His Salary Depends Upon His Not Understanding It link

          Those two quotes pretty much sum up the situation.

          I can forgive people who suffer from human foibles. I can not forgive their arrogance though.

          • It’s not so much that they think of them selves as vnal scumbags. It’s more that they view the cause that they support as being so noble and important that it justifies any sort of behavior in order to promote it.
            As such, venal behavior, such as telling what you know to be lies, are justified, and in their minds can even be considered noble.
            That this behavior also protects their paychecks is of lesser importance, and can always be justified, because even noble cause warriors have to eat. The big houses that they live in are also justified because in their minds, since they are uniquely positioned to advance the cause, and are therefore entitled to be richly rewarded.

  6. So, let me get this right, which of these scientific breakthroughs for modern life were government financed.
    The Internal combustion engine.
    Understanding radiation.
    The Vacuum valve & then Transistor.
    The Internet.
    The Phone.
    Airplanes & flight.
    Iron & Steel.
    Cement & Concrete.
    The cathode ray tube that led to TV.

    Most modern science appears to be only building on what happened decades ago, rather than actual breakthroughs.

    • An overwhelming majority of Nobel price recipients performed their research with public funding. And theirs are considered the more significant contributions to science.

      I have personally known three Nobel price recipients. One, Cesar Milstein, received it for discovering monoclonal antibodies. He was funded through all his career by the British government. Some of the COVID antigen tests are based on his discovery.

      The idea that funding for science should be private is absolutely incorrect. It would be a disaster for science. That science funding needs to be reformed is clear, but getting rid of public funding is no solution.

      • I would note that Willie Soon has told me that he does not apply for government funding because it is more difficult and time consuming than applying for private funds for his research. Something to consider.
        Plus the private funding comes with fewer restrictions on the research results. So I disagree Javier. I’ve also been on the other end, I’ve been in charge of privately funded research projects and I can tell you we were not interested in dictating the ultimate result. But, we were very interested in how well and how definitive the research was. This is not true for federally funded projects I’m aware of.

        • Willie Soon has told me that he does not apply for government funding because it is more difficult and time consuming than applying for private funds for his research.

          Applying for public funding has become tremendously competitive over the past three decades because the number of scientists has grown much faster than the funds. We have an explosion of mediocre science and mediocre literature. The number of grant applications rejections has skyrocketed. Willi Soon is lucky that he works on something that interests private funding bodies. In many areas of research there is no private funding available. In many countries like Spain without public funding there would be essentially no science.

          • Government funding may assist the “Development” of engineering & science, but the ideas are nearly always private & privately financed to start with.
            Take the wind up radio, the EM drive if it ever happens, the Wittle jet engine, the Sabre ramscoop jet engine, the Metalectrique battery.
            They were all private iniatives.
            I am sure that other people could list hundreds of others that they know about.

          • Javier, Government funded research projects tend to be useless stuff. The research that helps society and people is usually privately funded. The competition you speak of, is between useless and more useless projects and conducted by academic researchers that can’t get a job. As the post and the comments make clear, at least to me, substantive work is privately funded. Entertaining, but useless work, is government funded. That is the way I see it. I’ll post my quote from Henry Miller again:

            Because money is fungible, federal agencies are, in effect, funding nonsensical research on baby naming and meditation therapy at the expense of science’s Next Big Thing. As Coburn said in the introduction to his study of nsf: “A dollar lost to mismanagement, fraud, inefficiency, or a dumb project is a dollar that could have advanced scientific discovery. This report alone documents at least $65 million in wasteful spending on low-priority projects, $19 million lost to fraud, $1.2 billion in duplication, and $1.9 billion in other forms of mismanagement. Altogether this report identifies over $3 billion lost to waste, fraud, duplication, and mismanagement.”

      • Javelin
        Why do you assume public funding is better than private funding?
        Because you IMAGINE public funding is better?
        Nobel prize winners will tend to be public funded scientists merely because there are so many.

        Public funding of climate “science” makes this website necessary.

        Governments create money losing Post Offices, private schools that teach climate change
        and white privilege but not basic reading and math.

        Governments spend huge amounts of money on weapons and then lose a war with North Vietnam.

        Government efficiency is an oxymoron.

      • An overwhelming majority of Nobel price recipients performed their research with public funding. And theirs are considered the more significant contributions to science.

        Textbook argumentum ad verecundiam.

        And the former significant contributions to science without public funding prior to the Nobel’s instantiation? How did those possibly happen?

      • Leif, Javier: you can’t discuss the merits of gov funding for scientific reasearch without discussing what should be called scientific! That is the biggest part of the problem needing resolution that neither of you consider.

        Universities and schools in the West, along with every important institution, MSM, NGOs etc. have been taken over and repurposed by cultural маяхists. Most university faculties today did not exist a generation or two ago. Universities threw open their doors on egalitarian considerations to accept the left half of the bell curve (gov funding other than for research was handed out on the basis of enrollment!). The explosion of faculties was to provide something for those who couldn’t handle the old fashioned requirements.

        Everyone is a ‘scientist’ now! The cartoonist John Cook now a professor) in Australia even mused proudly on how this changed his life. The feminist student who wrote a paper on “Feminine Glaciology” dared a journal to reject it! Need I say who won this confrontation? Climatechange-ology is loaded with sociologists, social psychologists, lawyers, even a philosopher who proposes a Nuremburg style trial for sceptics.
        MSM calls them all scientists.

        What about the fact that in 1900, an intelligent individual could read virtually the entire body of scientific literature and today we have in excess of 60 million papers!!! John Cook’s paper proving the 97% consensus researched 13,000 climate papers written in a decade. That’s 7 papers per working day! This is for a science that hasn’t changed its fundamentals since Tyndal, Arhenius and Callendar from 100 to 150 yrs ago! Warming may be from 1.5 to 6.5C per doubling of CO2. Surely this discipline needs not a dollar more.

        • The percentage of people that work in science has grown enormously over the past two centuries. Since the percentage of highly intelligent people hasn’t changed, it is obvious that the average scientist is less intelligent now than in the past. On the bright side there are now more highly intelligent people dedicated to science than ever.

      • Like Al Gore?
        (I won’t mention Mann’s bogus claim of a Nobel Prize.)

        The issue isn’t that Government, at times funds science, but is the funding to learn and understand what is actually happening so as to “Promote the General Welfare” or to only fund what will “Preserve our Political Power”?

    • These are of course military requirements-driven technologies. ARPA was driven by military needs.

      The entire field of particle physics post-WW2 grew out of the young scientists who cut their teeth as young PhDs in the Manhattan Project that had to produce real, working devices. Compare that to today’s deeply flawed climate modelers (that people think are scientists). It is a field where producing something that is supposed to reflect the real climate but is not useful unless it is hand-tuned to show alarmist output in some distant future that can’t be immediately falsified by observation. Junk science in action.

      The Manhattan Project scientists, working with engineers and weapon designers, had to make something that worked starting from mostly theory in each of their speciality areas. They had to go from 1930’s textbook theories to a working, engineered device in so many areas, from materials science to radiation physics in a few years time. Each component of the Fat Man plutonium bomb had its own new technology that had to come from what a few years earlier was just theory. Everything from the radar-altimeter fusing to the “urchin” pit neutron initiator had to be created from what was just theory.

      All the defense radar work of the 40’s in the UK and the birth of the magnetron which today we all have in our kitchen heating our left-overs came out of military requirements. The radars which now tell us if a tornado or severe thunderstorm is coming at us.

      People like to claim it was NASA and the Moon Race in the 1960’s that led to so many civilian innovations like flight control computers and rocketry to put communication satellites up. That is BS. Everything NASA had was leveraged out a Cold War race to build bigger, more accurate missiles to throw those nuclear bombs at each. Any analysis of what it took to make the SR-71 fly Mach 3+ and to autonomously navigate and point its cameras with sub-second accuracy at those speeds anywhere in the world with an astrotracker shows where the real money was going to make aeronautical advances that flowed over the civilian world. Even the early NASA space suits were designs and materials science that came out of military pressure suit designs for the U-2 and SR-71 pilots.
      GPS grew out a military requirement for accurate and precise weapons delivery with simply a set of lat/long coordinates and no man-in-loop active guidance problem.

      Even NASA’s Mercury and Gemini Project manned rockets came out of a USAF military requirement to send a very heavy thermonuclear bombs deep into the USSR. NASA’s just bought a few more of those military rockets for its own needs where 90% of the production went to the nuclear TRIAD being built in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

      All of this is military requirements driven. Now today, it is into stealth, low-observable technologies are the hot areas, because the threats (like SAM’s) are so lethal the only way to survive them is to not be seen by their sensors until it is too late to stop them. And it is not just aircraft, but also submarines to modern Zumwalt-class destroyers are big into low-observable tech. Submarines have always been the ultimate “stealth” platform by operating unseen, now it is everything down to the individual soldier where signature reduction is the driver.

      Even the real solution to our next likely energy source (to solve the emissions “problems” of current reliable generation sources) are the small, modular nuclear reactors and the technology to make them inherently safe is an outgrowth of the US Navy’s needs to its submarine fleet where there can be no emissions, even to minimizing residual heat signatures in the cooling water stream.

      • See the new movie The First Man.
        What drove such military flyers to head up there? The Cold War? – nuts.

        It is an extraterrestrial imperative. See Krafft Ehricke’s Extraterrestrial Imperative.

        The so-called cold war just got in the way.

        President Trump has revived NASA, yet some are trying to start a new cold war, getting in the way again. Those garden gnome cold warriors look really dumb from a lunar perspective.

    • I suppose that the only thing on your list that relied on government research funding was the Internet. But the Internet today bears about as much resemblance to the arpanet as humans resemble trilobites. Most of the changes since then have been the result of private investment.

    • A C Osborn,
      “Most modern science appears to be only building on what happened decades ago, rather than actual breakthroughs.”
      So pleased to agree with your observation, so worried about its consequences. I’ve just looked at a list that CSIRO named its top 10 achievements. Most of them are more than 20 years old, like atomic absorption spectrophotometry dates to 1953.
      In most fundamental form, I suggest that the problem arises because aspiring scientists do not understand the main aspects of the scientific method. And, they seem to be mostly not interested in being educated about how to do proper science. Geoff S

    • True. Internet was not discovered by Al Gore. It was publicly funded science. It went from the US Dep. of Defense to interconnect universities and public research centers.

    • @Steve,
      Yes money well spent to improve the internet.
      Trillions spent on Global Warming and no improvement on forecasts, not really is it.

    • Steve, Ethernet was invented at Xerox’s PARC lab by Metcalf and others.

      WiFi was invented by, of all people, Hedy Lamarr.

      She was known as the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, but she was a genius. Her invention was not only the heart of wifi, but also the heart of gps. She won the Electronic Frontier Foundation award in 2000, three years before her death.

      Her work spawned a lot of government defense research projects, but was done at her own expense.

    • More on Hedy Lamarr’s ingenious invention from the Smithsonian:

      Lamarr made her great breakthrough in the early years of World War II when trying to invent a device to block enemy ships from jamming torpedo guidance signals. No one knows what prompted the idea, but Antheil confirmed that it was Lamarr’s design, from which he created a practical model. They found a way for the radio guidance transmitter and the torpedo’s receiver to jump simultaneously from frequency to frequency, making it impossible for the enemy to locate and block a message before it had moved to another frequency. This approach became known as “frequency hopping.”

    • steve45,
      Australia’s CSIRO lists its invention of wifi at the top ot its 10 best achievements. I am confused. Who do you consider to have invented wifi? Geoff S

      • Success has a thousand fathers. CSIRO most definitely did not invent WiFi or fast Fourier transforms. Carl Friedrich Gauss invented them in 1805. I suspect someone at CSIRO wrote some clever computer code to solve the transforms, so viola! CSIRO created wifi! Sorry guys, doesn’t count.

  7. Even the “soft” sciences are getting in on the act by calling them science, i.e. adding “science” at the end of whatever they are really doing.
    Just look at places like Yale Univ that have “Climate Communications” programs that dress-up themselves with sciency-sounding schtick when they are really just journalism-propaganda training centers. At least climate hucksters like Katharine Hayhoe at Texas Tech Univ was stuck in the TT’s Poli Sci department with her climate religion hoax. The real scientists in the physics department or atmospheric science probably wanted nothing to do with her Texas/California permadrought carnival barking ways a decade ago which turned into a PR disaster for her.

    Just do stuff that sounds “sciency” and jump on board the “Believe in Science” hucksterism going on now and wear a white-lab coat to wherever the press cameras can see you. All this is Marketing-101 stuff. Add the correct label to whatever you’re doing, like adding “Justice” to the end of crap like Climate, turned climate Justice dupe the gullible masses.
    The gullible masses have been fed a diet of crap science from TV shows like CSI or NCIS or Hollywood movies where science sleuths with large IQ’s solve ever-more impossible crimes. Where hacking into anyone’s computer network simply happens with a few clicks and instantly they can cross reference anything and find out whatever they need.

    Junk science… all of it. Real science, like Richard Feynman said, is really hard, and you have to be very meticulous and careful, but yourself is the “easiest person to fool.” The biggest offenders in climate science today are modelers and their computer outputs, just junk science dressed-up to fool a naive public and keep the grants coming.

    • “Just look at places like Yale Univ that have “Climate Communications” programs that dress-up themselves with sciency-sounding schtick when they are really just journalism-propaganda training centers.”

      Such as the Yale Climate Connections:
      It’s 100% about the impending climate catastrophe! Fear mongering at its best. And it’s a site that does not allow comments from viewers.

      They have another site which isn’t quite a bad: “Yale Environment 360”: That site does allow comments- though most articles only have a few and probably half are from me- or at least many are.

  8. Terrence Kealey wrote a major book to demonstrate how the state does not have to be a prime mover in research and indeed tends to crowd out private efforts. This is an extended summary.

    The first chapter on Francis Bacon and Adam Smith spells out the two competing models of the optimum relationship between state funding, basic research, technology and human welfare.

    The Baconian model is linear. State support -> Basic Research -> Technology -> Progress in human welfare

    Adam Smith. Old technology -> New Technology -> Wealth and Welfare

    In this model, Basic Research has a give and take (arrows each way) relationship with New Technology. The State has no special role to play in the process.

    Richard Lindzen suggested that climate science was not sufficiently advanced or well organized to cope with the 16fold increase in funding under Clinton/Gore and every other discipline in the academy jumped on the wagon to get some of the money.

  9. As co2isnotevil write: “The problems occur when the pursuit of science is used to support a political agenda.”

    But, it goes both ways.

    Back at around 2009 I asked a professor at the University Of Copenhagen if research in LFTR or MSR nuclear power was of interest and being something the university would take up in the nuclear physicist faculty.
    His answer was a big Yes. He then explained that there was no political will in the Danish government and therefore not adequate money to do so.
    Years earlier, the island Risø dedicated to nuclear research with a working tiny reactor, was taken away from the university.

    2009 was also the year where I was interviewed in my home in Sweden by a freelance journalist with ties to Danish TV2. The interview was about nuclear power and ended up with a 15min clip. The clip should have been shown a few weeks after, but some Danish high brass intervened, thus this very useful information was never shown to the Danish population and neither the journalist nor I got any money.

    We need the political will to do basic research funded by the government, because the industry cannot foresee any benefit and results may never surface.

    When I went to university, people were asking for subject free research. Getting funded for research in general and no strings attached. At the same time it is important that the universities also, as Andy May says, stay in close contact with the industry and they learn from each other.

  10. “China’s typical modus operandi is to steal American IP, replicate it, replace the U.S. company originating that IP in the Chinese domestic market, then displace the United States in the global market.” (Laufman, Casino, & Kasdan, 2020)

    Much the same as what the Americans did to the British Empire, of course….

    • All our laws ‘protecting’ IP are really about preventing use of said IP [by others] so one could argue that IP is bad [and as you said Americans ignored IP rights before the 20th century]. The notions that China steals $600 billion worth of IP is ludicrous. IP has no intrinsic value; applications of IP are where the value is, so restricting such use is diminishing the value we could have from IP.

      • Why am I not surprised to find a progressive declaring that preventing people from benefitting from their own work is the way to improve society.

        I guess it’s just a logical exetension of the belief that taking money from those who work so it can be used to buy the votes of those who don’t want to work is a good idea.

  11. Another trait I notice with most progressives.
    They tend to assume that anything that has been done by government, couldn’t possibly have been done by the private sector.
    In this case, government provide research for free, which means that any company that pays for it’s own research is now at a competitive disadvantage. Then when it turns out that most research is being done by government, they assume that this proves that only government is capable of doing such research.

  12. Get ready, Andy, because I see where presumptive president-elect Joe Biden says he is going to explain climate change. You might want to take notes? Or not?

    • If we think it is bad now, it will only get worse under Biden. Fortunately we still have people whose jobs do not depend on kissing, so they can still speak out about “climate”.

      • During the campaign, Biden proclaimed, over and over again, that his tax plan wouldn’t impact anyone who’s income was less than $400K. But then he proclaimed that he was going to increase revenue by limiting the value of any tax deduction to only 28%.

        Since the 32% tax bracket kicks in at 163K for singles, this means that any single who makes more than 163K is going to pay more in taxes. Last time I checked, 163K is a lot less than 400K.\

        Of course the media never called Biden on this blatant lie.

  13. I have read, and seen some evidence to support it, that the left wing wants to make everybody equal. Since they have had no luck doing so because of the success of capitalism, they are now trying to destroy that success, and one of the ways to do that is to take away the power which helps provide it, thereby bringing us down to the level of the more primitive societies. Therefore the ranting about what enables our power generation, namely coal, oil, nuclear. And therefore making the claim of human-caused climate change from coal and oil and the excessive fear-mongering about nuclear.

    This also requires the destruction of any data saying climate change is natural. For a personally observed example I offer Glacier Bay in Alaska. In 2006 when my wife and I visited there, we were handed a map showing the melting of the glacier, charted by mariners as they updated their navigation charts. It showed that the glacier had started melting by 1800; a little research by me said earth’s population back then was around 1/7 of today and transportation was by horse, foot and sailing vessel. Roughly 3/4 of the glacier was gone by about the start of the year 1900. prior to the invention of the airplane, a dozen years before the mass production of the auto, and with population still only 1/4 of today. Back then, the fear-mongers were telling us the glaciers of the world had been melting since 1840, and it was all our fault.

    You no longer hear about “since 1840” and, when I go to the Glacier Bay website, I no longer see that a massive glacier had been melting since at least 1800. I guess that is all my fault, for pointing out that if their claims of it being all our fault since those days are true, it is pretty difficult to justify the claim that we can do something about it now. Glacier Bay is a National Parks (i.e. Government) park and website. Now convince me that we can trust the government when it comes to science, and scientific data.

  14. Slightly OT:

    Didi any of you listen to the lecture over Zoom titled “‘Government by decree – Covid-19 and the Constitution’: Lord Sumption” at:
    ‘Government by decree – Covid-19 and the Constitution’: Lord Sumption
    and this comment by a 57 year old doctor:

    The video is 1h 16m, but Lord Sumption is worth it.
    H/T Morano’s website.

  15. A few of us are motivated only by curiosity.

    For some people, the control of others is a more powerful motivator than money. A very effective way to control others is to control their access to energy. A key to this is to convince them that the products of most of the energy that they have been using are harmful and for their own good they need to stop using fossil fuels.

    They claim that this conclusion is a result of science. The main science they have is the discovery that CO2 is IR active. They ignore that the carbon in fossil fuels had to have come from CO2 in the atmosphere. They ignore that water vapor has been increasing faster than possible from feedback (temperature increase). They ignore the average WV molecule population gradient of about 1200 to 1 from surface to tropopause which causes much of the outward directed radiation from WV molecules in the troposphere to go directly to space. They ignore the fact that in less than a picosecond radiant energy absorbed by CO2 molecules in the troposphere is shared with surrounding molecules. This allows some of the radiant energy absorbed by CO2 in the troposphere to be redirected to WV molecules which radiate some of it directly to space.

    The misleadingly but popularly named greenhouse effect (GHE) results from the combined effect of all IR active molecules (AKA ghg). The main ones are WV and CO2. Both WV and CO2 have been measured since Jan 1988. More than 7 WV molecules have been added for each CO2 molecule. Combining this with the Hitran determination that a WV molecule is more effective than a CO2 molecule at absorbing energy, results in the assessment that WV increase has been about 10 times more effective at ground level warming than CO2 increase.

  16. Leif
    You still believe that government funding can be done without bias or corruption.
    The great Johannes Kepler could not make a decent living out of his contribution to science.
    But governments would pay him for casting forecasts on their policy determinations based upon astrology.
    Signs of the zodiac.
    There are some personal quotes, but I don’t have the time to find them.

    • Well Kepler did find a “private” sponsor, with a golden nose (no kidding), Tycho Brahe . Actually that Royal was part of government. He used funds to collect accurate data, but was incapable of understanding it. He actually withheld data from his scientist guest Kepler who knew so.
      Brahe’s Uraniborg Danish astronomical observatory could possibly be said to be government funded astronomy, like Palomar, Hubble, Kepler, Planck, Gaia, SOHO, Parker, JamesWebb….

  17. In the late 1960s I entered the Australian mineral exploration and mining sector. For the next 20 years, I was active in using and formulating structures for more joint scientific research between industry and government, such as CSIRO and Universities.
    This was not long after Sir Alan Walsh of CSIRO had developed and commercialized the atomic absorption spectrometer that revolutionized this industry sector. It was a government science success, perhaps the last great one for CSIRO, for the subsequent years have been lean as top management has since been chosen more for political rather than scientific gain.
    We in industry conducted most of our own science. There were several reasons for this. We used our own money, so we were beholden to our Boards, not to some bureaucratic or political group. It let us profit from our advances before our competition (which was strong). It allowed us to fund more research from more successes. It narrowed the competition because the scientific failures by others led to a change of job for them, often driving a cab.
    We used government scientific collaboration, mostly, because there was expensive equipment that was best managed by multiple use of a central government device and supporting expertise, rather than all of us buying one of our own. This concept is similar to reasons why governments run armies, rather than having a host of private ones to defend a country.
    In hindsight, these decades of the 1970-80 period were the golden years for the Australian economy. Our successes provided a large input of new economic wealth for the nation to share. Our own company for example, found more than a dozen new mines whose sales to date (everything in 2015 $Aust) are some $70,000 million.
    Hindsight shows that private industry is able to deliver the goods (spectacularly for new wealth, as opposed to shuffling existing wealth). We managed and operated a lovely collaborative research environment under the banner of the Australian Mining Industry Research Association.
    It can be done again. Geoff S

  18. When the absurd and politicized CAGW Hoax is finally tossed on the trash heap of failed propaganda schemes, and taxpayers realize $10’s of trillions of their hard-earned money was wasted on this scam in an effort to steal their money, destroy free-market economies, and usurp power and control over every aspect of their lives, a strong movement will develop demanding government “scientific” research funding be drastically reduced and replaced with University and private-sector funding, with the exception of DOD research funding which requires high levels of secrecy.

    The private sector is perfectly capable of even funding basic research in exchange for these world’s top scientists contractually devoting a certain amount of research time on corporate-oriented research projects.

    Government scientific research funding is completely broken as it will, by definition, always be politicized, extremely wasteful and oblivious to basic economic laws.

  19. ” … one can imagine journalists and non-profits funded by billionaires saying, “The public doesn’t need to understand this, we tell them what to think!”

    One does not need to imagine, it is already a reality !

  20. There are very many universities and independent scientific research organisations researching climate… and these are not all in the USA.

    The idea it is US Federal govt founded civil servants producing climate science and programmes is complete nonsense.

    Better than the ‘Soon model’ where private thinktanks and fossil fuel companies pay for research, I think.

  21. Nathan Myhrvold is vice chairman of TerraPower and cofounder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures in Bellevue, Wash. He previously worked for Microsoft as chief technology officer and founded Microsoft Research.

    Basic Science Can’t Survive without Government Funding

    Excerpt :
    When I created Microsoft Research, one of the largest industrial research labs founded in a generation, Bill Gates and I were very clear that basic research was not our mission. We knew that unless our researchers focused narrowly on innovations we could turn into revenues quickly, we wouldn’t be able to justify the R&D budget to our investors. The business logic at work here has not changed. Those who believe profit-driven companies will altruistically pay for basic science that has wide-ranging benefits—but mostly to others and not for a generation—are naive.

    Many more observations there, from a most unexpected source….

    • bonbon, In my experience so-called “basic research” is all BS. Fundamental learning is almost always accomplished when working on every day problems. Thermodynamics came from a need to build more efficient steam engines. Computers were a war necessity, and so on. So I don’t buy it.

      • Thermodynamics came from mv*+2, Leibniz’s discovery. The steam engine of Papin needed more efficiency, sure, and Leibniz already knew steam was not the best. Yes he was doing what Descartes did not, actual experimental physics, not mere maths.
        The idea that a machine could multiply the work of 1 man by a 100 came from pure theoretical physics. No one else at that time even imagined such a possibility.

        Computers were a NASA necessity, and of course a Manhattan requirement. Apollo needed computers light enough to head outwards, not the mighty mainframes of the war effort. Chips are lighter than valves, i.e., not all computers are the same.

        Still, the Microsoft Research head is right – shareholders see basic science as charity, no quarterly return.

        A good point is made by LPPFusion head Dr. Lerner – cosmology has lost all contact with reality, i.e. no lab plasma experiments whatsoever. Fusion actually solving a real problem will bring cosmology down to earth so too speak, with major spinoffs.

        So might I suggest instead that Government funding of “basic research” is BS if that research is not experimental, mere math modelling?
        That should put CERN, Climate and the whole big bang cosmology cabal on marked time. That money should go into a fusion Manhattan project, without war.

  22. There are some here proclaiming Bell Labs to be the paragon of virtue.
    The infamous Black-Scholes financial derivative procedure that caused the 1998 LTCM crash, originated at that lab. The information theory research of that Lab. Applying Claude Shannon’s stuff to economics, has produced crashes, bailouts beyond belief. We stand right before the “everything bubble”, which will likely hit the next US Admin, and was a threat used to appease WallStreet this Admin.

    And yes these derivative gambling games run on chips developed at Bell.

    • I love the way progressives can only handle absolutes.
      Nobody has ever claimed that Bell Labs is a paragon of virtue, that’s your peculiar delusion.
      Pointing out that Bell Labs has developed many of the things we use in day to day lives is just pointing out a fact.

  23. “Stop wasting my time
    You know what I want
    You know what I need
    Or maybe you don’t
    Do I have to come right flat out and tell you everything?
    Gimme some money, gimme some money” -Spinal Tap


  24. Government scientists today are little different than the educated clergy of yore , who provided the science of the king’s right to rule by divine providence. The “scientists” then get to share in the plunder of the peasants by the monarchy and the king gets to avoid the messy use of the sword to take away the peasants liberty and property. This “religion” today is Secular Socialism, that deifies government to save us all. The Church of Warming is just one denomination. The scientists that obviously fit this theory are Hansen and Fauci just to name a couple, who have terrified the peasants to follow the deity’s mandates.

  25. This is a short rather philosophical intended analysis. It is not my intention to derogate science, although it may look like that. It follows a logical argument I myself cannot escape from. So please show me the fallacies within.

    The problem with science is, it creates an artificial reality, I call “the scientific laboratory”. All science will discover is only valid within the confines of this laboratory. So by definition science can never find universal principles.

    To do research and test you always need this laboratory and its equipment and its personnel and its customs and its data and information etc. So the mechanism is pretty simple: you start with phenomena you observe for a start outside this laboratory. You collect data from that outside surrounding of your laboratory. So in essence you isolate aspects of this surrounding from its context and by that you create an artificial and new situation. You are going to study a changed situation you created. What is more, your data are just a selective aspect of the isolated phenomena you study. It augments the artificiality within your laboratory.

    So now you study this and reach conclusions and want to test their validity. But by definition of the scientific method you can only test them within your laboratory. You cannot go out to the world outside your laboratory and leave your instruments behind, because that will break your scientific method.

    All you can do about this prisoner dilemma of science is to change the world by making it into one big laboratory.

    This is what we see now happening on an ever expanding scale. Is this a good solution to escape the confines of the laboratory? In my opinion it isn’t. All it does is move boundaries. It can never remove them.

    The “more money needed from government” – or the overwhelming involvement of political support – is a clear indication of trying to change the world into one big laboratory.

    I have no idea whether this is for good or bad. Historically, it is an experiment that runs for a pretty short time yet, too short to tell us where it is going.

    • The first part approaches good old instrumentalism. See also “The Yawning Heights” by Alexander Zinoviev, for example (it contains some musings squeezed out of his logic works, to almost aphorism density). In extreme cases, the advantage of instrumentalism is fairly obvious — as in “Shut Up and Calculate” interpretation of quantum mechanics.
      From “science is building models of reality to be abstractly accurate within their area of applicability” follows only that the produced models require adding safety bias later, at the stage of using the results to make decisions, unlike the evolved models with built-in risk management adjustments. Which is how good engineering runs, obviously (or, as the author of “Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger” put it, redundancy is the difference between “backward” and “suicidally insane” ). Taleb covers this part thoroughly and eloquently.

      The “clear indication of trying” only muddles the simple question of how the power flows. “Trying” requires at very least seeing something as reachable. And if something as plainly megalomaniacal as “change the world” starts looking possible not only to the daydreamers too “out of it” to significantly influence anything outside their immediate reach — well, there have to be reasons for this. If someone else didn’t dangle it on a string, there won’t be any trying.

  26. A decade ago, there was the fake pig flu pandemic (which was never about pigs but so many academics are clueless).

    It bombed badly. Except in the US?

    Care to explain why?

  27. Who uses whom in a cancerous oligarchy is less than obvious. Anyway, see also:

    In a society steeped in science, law, history, and economics, it seems remarkably attractive to shift the foundations of one’s sovereign away from robber barons and machine politicians, and toward scientists, lawyers, historians, and economists. (And journalists, of course. But the journalists of 1909 were already quite corrupt enough.)
    However, from a long-term perspective, the decision is fatal. Robber barons and machine politicians will never be nice people, but both professions are competitive enough to prevent much decay. Consider the political conditions of the Italian Renaissance. It is impossible for power to corrupt a kleptocracy: a kleptocracy is already corrupt. This does not render the structure ideal, but it lends it a certain long-term stability which is of great value.
    It is possible to corrupt science, law, history, and economics. It may be impossible to uncorrupt journalism. For a society ruled by bad journalism and condemned to bad science, bad law, bad history and bad economics, there is no exit but destruction. I think we still have some good science. Perhaps there is a little good history, and some decent law. For economics, there is just no hope. Fuzzy fields rot fast.
    — Mencius Moldbug, “Judge Sotomayor: a reactionary exegesis”.
    He also wrote “What’s wrong with CS research” and recently “Open letter to Paul Graham”.

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