So why does flying my SSK Freak Flag™ and denying the objectivity of science get me hate mail? What is it that we really prize when we say something is objective, and why is attacking that Bad?
For starters, I’m not even going to really go into intelligent design, climate change denying, anti-vax, or paleo diet hooha. If you’re looking for support in your quest to unmask the Vast Scientific Conspiracy, look elsewhere, and if you’re supporting any of these things (or any other pseudoscience), I’d suggest revising the background assumptions that govern the foundational rules behind the discursive field of your form of life.*
So, my objection to objectivity is this: not only is it not true that science is objective, but the term “objective” is really masking a whole bushel of values that we ought to embrace, but, because we value our form of empirical inquiry acting as if it’s value-neutral or even value-free, we claim that it’s objective, and seek to behave in a way that we believe people engaged in an objective form of empirical, inductive reasoning based on observation ought to behave. Continue reading
The title’s clickbait, but I mean it: science, even physics, isn’t objective, and, more to the point, it can’t be.
There are a lot of assumptions to unpack there (for instance, why do people think physics is the most objective science?), but let’s start with the obvious one: the assumption science, whatever it is, is, in fact, objective, whatever that is. Continue reading
There’s no good way to write this. I’m going to hack off someone, just because this is a horribly charged issue—even saying I read the Finch Report on open access is going to lose me Twitter followers. All I can do is refer you all to my disclaimer and hope nobody with the power to hire, fire, or ask for revisions ever reads and takes issue with anything here.
Furthermore, anything negative I accidentally happen to imply about STEM* journal publishing should in no way be construed as reflecting on any publishing or editorial enterprise I’ve ever been a part of—humanities journals are, by and large, run pretty ethically by any reasonable standard. Humanities scholars have no idea what a “page fee” is, for instance, and tend not to believe you when you tell them what (and how much) they are—simply put, we don’t pay ’em. They try to have you committed when you tell them how much science journals charge for subscriptions—even those that charge page fees and run ads. It drives our STEM cousins nuts when they hear about life on our side of the divide.
Alright, enough ass-covering, it’s time for diplomacy. If the State Department’s hiring, I hope they’re reading this. Continue reading