• Social Sciences
  • 2004-09-30SSC-No. 003
  • Size: 47.3 Kbytes .
  • Pages:74-88.
  • Words: 7468

WHAT THREAT DOES PSEUDOSCIENCE POSE TO SOCIETY?

Author: Eduard KRUGLYAKOV

That the authorities' attitude to science is changing for the better is a noticeable development. Russia's President Vladimir Putin has announced a long-term program of support for science. It would seem that there is every reason to look to the future with optimism, but in fact the situation is not all that cloudless. Influential forces in society want the role of science to diminish. The following article examines one of them.

According to a large-circulation Russian newspaper, an old threat hangs over a new science penetrating some intractable mysteries of the Universe. It says the threat comes from the Commission Against Pseudoscience organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences. We shall discuss the meaning of "the new science" later, but for now let us quote another claim in that newspaper. In capitulating to Nature's most unfathomed riddles, it writes, the Russian Academy of Sciences has no qualms depicting researchers who take the risk of working on the frontlines of cognition as pseudoscientists.

The above assertions do not reflect the views of an incompetent journalist - they have been deliberately tailored to order. The population is being deliberately and persistently brainwashed through the mass media. The headlines alone are awe- inspiring: "Household Lasers Kill Human Blood, " "Collapse of Classical Physics, " "Vampire Monsters Come Back, " "Russian Physicists Discover New Deadly Radiation." Undiluted poison being fed to people makes them unsociable and instills hopelessness in them. As a result, they lose the capacity for critical thinking as the media accustoms them to blind faith. Incidentally, similar attempts are being made to depress educational standards no matter what advocates of reforms might say to the contrary. I shall not go into detail on the subject, considering that Academician V. Arnold has spoken out on it on quite a few occasions. I shall only note that some "success" has been achieved in that direction.


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