My tedious complaint about scientists prejudging issues prior to analysis ("the facts don't warrant. . .etc") extends beyond the superficially weird (Heinlein's story) to the comparatively normal. While I'm not suggesting anyone who does this routinely is anything other than merely disinterested in the subject (a perfectly good reason to avoid time-consuming research), the inescapable fact is that this sort of technique has long been used as a means of avoiding good scientific work.

Example #1. Here is an excerpt from correspondence by Dr. Paul Thomkins, director of the FRC in his letter to the Atomic Energy Commission dated September 25, 1952: "The basic approach to the report would be to start with a simple, straightforward statement of conclusions. We would then identify the major questions that could be expected to be asked in connection with these conclusions. It would then be a straightforward matter to select the key scientific consultants whose opinions should be sought in order to substantiate the validity of those conclusions or recommended appropriate modifications."

Example #2: Dr. Dade W. Moeller, in his 1971 speech as he accepted the presidency of the Health Physics Society admonished the members: "Let's all put our mouth where our money is."

Source: Overhead projector slide by Dr. Karl Morgan, speaking at a conference on radiation at the University of Utah circa early 1980s. Title: "Fundamental Reasons Why Standards-Setting Bodies and Health Physics Do Not Serve Persons with Radiation Injury."

Prejudging difficult evidence is a grand tradition that is not without it's occasional monetary perks. . .especially in governmental affairs.


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