The Infection of #Science by #Politics: A Nobel Laureate and Biophysicist on the #Coronavirus Crisis
One of the claims made by the #governments of the world to justify imposing the regulations and programmes of a #biosecurity state on their populations is that they are ‘following the science’. By the same token, those who uncritically support these measures — in both #mainstream and social media — claim that anyone who criticises or opposes them are ‘anti-science’.
As #Professor #Levitt states: it is not governments that are following the science; rather, it is #politics that has ‘infected’ the scientists. By making the statements of eminent scientists with the courage to speak out against Government and #media lies more widely known, it is our hope that the debate the people of #Britain should be having will be opened to the knowledge we should be applying to this crisis, which goes far beyond a virus with the fatality rate of a severe #flu, and which threatens the existence of our human rights, civil liberties and democratic politics.
People are insisting on refereed reports. No-one wants to share anything. The #scientists are more panicked and scared of reality than anybody else.
This has got nothing to do with the politics. As a group, scientists have failed the younger generation.
‘Deciding what to do in this situation is really, really difficult. We cannot rely on one or two voices. There should have been a committee formed, either by the Nobel Foundation, by Lindau, by The Royal Society, The National Academy, in the middle of February when this was coming down the road, and we should have discussed this.
‘Instead, we let #economics and #politics dedicate the science.
There was total #panic. And the fact is that almost all the science we were hearing — for example, from organisations like the World Health Organisation — was wrong.
We had Facebook censoring [views contrary to] the World Health Organisation.
Nobody said to me: “Let me check your numbers”. They all just said: “Stop talking like that”.
.. but the fact is that viral cases and deaths follow a time trajectory, and I think that physicist and theoretical chemists who understand trajectories are way better qualified.
‘I am not against #lockdown. I’m against stupid lockdown without considering the full picture. That is, not just combating a
virus that is exactly as dangerous as flu, but also avoiding the economic damage that every country has caused itself, except #Sweden
In other words, everything is data-driven, but people have chosen not to look at the data. In many places, the politics has infected the scientists. Certainly in the USA the politics has infected the scientists.’
‘I think the problem is not just science and public. It’s science to other scientists. Nobody ever said: “You’re saying this: can I check your numbers” This is something which any intelligent person could do themselves in a few days. Every science needs problems to be worked over.
The one place that did have some intelligent #conversation — but I only got involved in it very late — was the European Molecular Biology Lab.
The #criticism is wonderful, because [with]good science, you have to be able to stand up to criticism. Scientists expect to be torn apart. We circled the wagons against this, and it really, really hurt us.’
‘I’m not saying that corona is like flu. But It has exactly the same excess death and age-ranges as flu, and flu is a very serious disease, so I’m not undermining [the existence of] #COVID.
Scientists are arrogant, and refuse to listen to people not in their fields. Scientists are getting away Scott-free for causing billions of dollars’ worth of damage, and this is something which cannot be allowed to happen.
‘It’s not just the World Health Organisation. #Ferguson wanted Sweden to lock down, and got Britain to lock down. And when the numbers become normal, exactly what you would expect without lockdown, he then says: “Ah, it’s because of lockdown”. This is terrible science. This is science which should go on trial. Scientists cannot cause damage like this and refuse to listen.
‘The fact is that #epidemiology and modelling has been a disgrace. They have not looked at the #data. They have been wrong at every turn. We’re going to see that, although coronavirus is a different disease, the net #impact of death is going to be very similar to severe flu. And it’s going to be that way without lockdown.
, Professor of Structural #Biology
at Stanford University since 1987, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001, made a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2002, and received the Nobel Prize for #Chemistry