Monday, March 3, 2014

High-Minded Scientific Discourse

Do you think scientists debate carefully and cautiously, deferential to the opinions of others and always sensitive to the possibilities of shortcomings in their own reasoning?


Below are some samples from an argument over (get ready) one journal deciding to have a (still) murkily-defined open data policy.  Have a read of the original post from DrugMonkey's place.  Of course, when you start a debate/discussion with a post with "PLoS is letting the inmates run the asylum" in the title and proceed to call them "waccaloons" who employ "idiot humanities majors" you're bound to provoke inflammatory responses:

"you continually return to talking about YOUR teeny little bunny patch. It’s not your interlocutors who fail the imagination test here." (Bill)
"You are just deaf to it, is all. Theology is like that sometimes." (DM)
"Because you are not listening. Rather, because you refuse to get this.
This turns you from being a merely blinded and deluded true belieber acolyte into an actively denialist asshole." (DM)
"It’s not as though the rat-diddling that you call science is worth archiving anyway." (Bill)
"If you could put as much effort into thinking about sharing as you did into constructing this moany teenage diatribe then we’ll be fine." (Chris)
"In conclusion, Chris, and everyone else saying PLOS is being reasonable, you are either inexperienced or stupid, and either way you can go fuck yourselves." (anonymous postdoc)

I'll remind you that this is happening literally over one journal's open data policy (which they already had) and which they have yet to fully define how it will apply to each subfield.  I mean this is as academic as an academic argument can get and yet... humans be humans.