REVIEWS OF DOGMATISM IN SCIENCE AND MEDICINE
[The] claim is . . . that examples of dogmatism in science . . . are increasingly significant, stifle research, perpetuate errors and cause an enormous waste of resources. . . . [M]akes a convincing case . . . most obvious in two paradigmal cases, . . . the HIV/AIDS theory and the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis . . . [R]aises important issues, possibly really central issues. The book is also full of insights peripheral to the central theme and contains . . . a useful beginner's guide
This is a most worthwhile book. . . well-researched . . . Bauer shows the dangers that powerful groups in mainstream science pose to open inquiry and an open society. . .
That science might have knowledge monopolies may come as a surprise. . . One of the great virtues of the book is good case-studies, telling examples of scientific misbehavior by elite practitioners. . . One of the best case-studies in the book is Chapter 3, “A case of public censorship: Elsevier and Medical Hypotheses.” . . . Overall, I find Bauer’s arguments convincing and his examples disturbing.
The nature of scientific activity has changed dramatically over the last half century, and objectivity and rigorous search for evidence that once defined it are being abandoned. Increasingly, this text argues, dogma has taken the place of authentic science.
This study examines how conflicts of interest — both institutional and individual — have become pervasive in the science world, and also explores the troubling state of research funding and flaws of the peer-review process. It looks in depth at the dominance of several specific theories, including the Big Bang cosmology,
human-caused global warming, HIV as a cause of AIDS, and the efficacy of anti-depressant drugs. In a scientific environment where distinguished experts who hold contrary views are shunned, this book is an important contribution to the examination of scientific heterodoxies.
CHOICE, November 2012; 50-1422 Q180 2012-15222 CIP
Bauer . . . contends that the rigor and objectivity that once accompanied scientific research has been diluted over the past half century or so and been replaced by a dogmatism brought about by religious or political bias, career or monetary gain, or simply scientific political correctness. . . . The author cites many examples of scientists castigated for going against scientific mainstream . . . .
An extensive bibliography, including many websites, adds to the book's value for serious readers. .
Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general audiences.
At the end of this fascinating book, Bauer asks the question: Can
21 st century science become trustworthy again? He suggests that change
must come from outside the existing institutions, which merely serve to
perpetuate knowledge monopolies, but first the need for change must
become generally recognized . Possibilities discussed include a Science
Court; independent, publicly funded institutions that can assess scientific
claims of public importance; and designated funds for non-mainstream
research. Something of this nature is clearly needed.
Dogmatism in Science and Medicine (DSM) by Henry H. Bauer is about
the corruption of modern science. For practicing scientists it is a disturbing
book to read. Medicine is bitter, yet we put up with it to get better. DSM is
bitter medicine intended to improve the health of science.
. . . .
Dr. Bauer does a professional, competent, and important job bringing the
corruption of modern science into the light. The criticisms offered above do
not detract from the fundamental correctness of the picture DSM paints, but
instead underscore its seriousness, and the need to further refine the picture.
To scoff at DSM or to think it is off-base is merely to reveal that the scoffer
is woefully uninformed about the transformations that have occurred in
science over the past decades. If one is a practicing scientist, or a concerned
citizen of good will, one ignores this book at one’s own peril.