posted ago by clemaneuverers ago by clemaneuverers +50 / -0

Just discovered this interesting book, "Not Even Trying" (2012), which the author has made available free online as a long blog post:


The argument of this book in a single paragraph

Briefly, the argument of this book is that real science is dead, and the main reason is that professional researchers are not even trying to seek the truth and speak the truth; and the reason for this is that professional ‘scientists’ no longer believe in the truth - no longer believe that there is an eternal unchanging reality beyond human wishes and organization which they have a duty to seek and proclaim to the best of their (naturally limited) abilities. Hence the vast structures of personnel and resources that constitute modern ‘science’ are not real science but instead merely a professional research bureaucracy, thus fake or pseudo-science; regulated by peer review (that is, committee opinion) rather than the search-for and service-to reality. Among the consequences are that modern publications in the research literature must be assumed to be worthless or misleading and should always be ignored. In practice, this means that nearly all ‘science’ needs to be demolished (or allowed to collapse) and real science carefully rebuilt outside the professional research structure, from the ground up, by real scientists who regard truth-seeking as an imperative and truthfulness as an iron law.

The book is also available as a proper ebook and it's on libgen if you search for the title or author.

The author, Bruce G. Charlton, who I had never heard of before, is an interesting guy. This quote from his wikipedia page:

From 2003 to 2010, Charlton was the solo-editor of the journal Medical Hypotheses, published by Elsevier. After HIV/AIDS denier Peter Duesberg published a paper in Medical Hypothesis arguing that “there is as yet no proof that HIV causes AIDS", the journal came under fire for its lack of peer review. The paper was withdrawn from the journal [by the publisher, Elsevier] citing concerns over the paper's quality and “that [it] could potentially be damaging to global public health.” Elsevier consequently revamped the journal to introduce peer review, firing Charlton from his position as editor, due to his resistance of these changes.

At October 2012, a worldwide campaign including 198 researchers published a critical paper defending Charlton and the idea of editorial review.

I include it despite it's critical tone to show he's not a criticizing outsider, but someone who spent his career as a doctor and scientific researcher. This book was written in 2012, after the journal debacle, and 25 years into his career. A quote:

looking back on 25 years in professional research – I am forced to admit that, although I certainly tried, I wasn’t actually doing science.

He says real science was "exorcised" from the scientific community/industry almost entirely around about 1940s-1950s. This is a conclusion I had also come to from my own independent research. This happens to be when viruses were first claimed to have been isolated and proven to be the source of much disease, and also around about when electron microscopes began to be used to examine biological samples.

I've yet to read much of the book, but I am excited to do so.

An aside: The publisher, Elsevier, who quashed his unconventional journal over "AIDS/HIV denial" is (Ghislaine Maxwell's father) Robert Maxwell's baby, a publishing company he built from the ground up. (EDIT: I misremembered this, Maxwell's company was Pergamon, which was acquired by Elsevier). Maxwell is credited with revolutionizing (destroying might be a better word) the Scientific Journal. He made Science Journal publishing the behemoth industry it is today. Before him papers and journals were published semi independently, in a not very profitable way and in small quantities. They were printed on "bible stock" paper and only available at conferences where the authors would actually present their work. Of course, there was absolutely no advertising. They were more like a formal and extended version of the scientist's lab notes. While it had it's limitations, it was more in line with Charlton's idea of "Real Science".

So Maxwell is one big cog in the machine that destroyed "Real Science" - he encouraged scientists to pursue the audacious, bombastic type of research that would grab headlines, sell (increasingly flashy) journals and pull in loads of investment and grants. He would go to these conferences and gather up the most appealing scientists, rent hotel rooms and provide them with hookers and booze. If you want to read more about all that, here's along article from the Guardian of all places:

Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science? - It is an industry like no other, with profit margins to rival Google – and it was created by one of Britain’s most notorious tycoons: Robert Maxwell**