Science vs. Scientists

From Nassim Taleb in Fooled By Randomness:

People confuse science and scientists. Science is great, but individual scientists are dangerous. They are human; they are marred by the biases humans have. Perhaps even more. For most scientists are hard-headed, otherwise they would not derive the patience and energy to perform the Herculean tasks asked of them, like spending eighteen hours a day perfecting their doctoral thesis.

A scientists may be forced to act like a cheap defense lawyer rather than a pure seeker of truth. A doctoral thesis is “defended” by the applicant; it would be a rare situation to see the student change his mind upon being supplied with a convincing argument. But science is better than scientists. It was said that science evolves from funeral to funeral.


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