Shift Happens but it’s not Always Good Science by Christopher J. Borgert

CJB photoScientific revolutions may be on the horizon, but most of this shift isn’t credible science or a step forward, argues Christopher J. Borgert in Parliament magazine’s blog on Oct. 10.

Have you ever wondered why some scientists self-identify as revolutionaries? In his 1962 book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” physicist Thomas Kuhn promoted the concept of a “paradigm shift” to describe new ways of thinking that can only be ushered in by scientific revolutions, not by working within the framework of accepted scientific knowledge.

Regardless of whether he was correct, most scientists would agree that when technological developments provide surprising new measurements of the natural world that can’t be explained by established scientific theories, a paradigm shift may be necessary to move forward. But just as important, new ideas that violate scientific methodology should be discarded quickly to avoid stepping backward. At least, that is the way science ought to work.

Increasingly, however, paradigm shift alone is being used to justify frightening public health claims. To name a few, these range from blaming vaccinations for autism and genetically modified foods or common chemicals, pesticides and consumer products for nearly every adverse health condition imaginable — from diabetes to obesity to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder …

Read the full blog here.