Peter Ridd recently wrote an excellent article for SPECTATOR AUSTRALIA
A Shift from Science to Sentiment
In the realm of scientific research and discovery, the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) once stood as a beacon of rigorous inquiry and evidence-based conclusions. However, a recent article from the Spectator Australia paints a rather different picture of the institution, suggesting it has veered off the path of objective science and into the murky waters of woke ideology.
“The Australian Academy of Science (AAS) recently released a report Reef Futures Roundtable, which is ostensibly about the doomed Great Barrier Reef. However, the report only demonstrates that the AAS, Australia’s peak science body, has become not just unscientific, but anti-scientific.”
Selective Reporting and Omissions
The AAS report on the Great Barrier Reef, rather than presenting a comprehensive and balanced view, seems to cherry-pick data to fit a predetermined narrative. The glaring omission of UNESCO’s declaration that the reef is not endangered and the latest statistics showing the reef at peak coral levels raises eyebrows.
“The AAS report predictably concluded that the Great Barrier Reef could already be ‘irreversibly’ damaged. The fact that UNESCO has just declared it not endangered did not rate a mention, and neither did the latest two years of statistics showing the reef is at record high coral levels.”
A Lack of Quantitative Analysis
For an institution that once prided itself on rigorous scientific methodology, the AAS report’s lack of quantitative data is both surprising and concerning. The report’s recommendations, such as ‘solar radiation management’ and ‘rubble stabilisation’, seem to be based more on wishful thinking than practical feasibility.
“The problem with this completely unanalytical approach is seen in the ‘interventions’ it recommends to fix the reef. Their impracticality is breathtaking.”
The Woke Overtones
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the AAS report is its overtly woke tone. The emphasis on gender identification and Indigenous representation, while important in certain contexts, seems misplaced in a scientific report. The prioritization of identity politics over hard data is a clear departure from the AAS’s traditional approach.
“The unscientific nature of the AAS report is largely a result of its anti-scientific approach. The report is actually a parody of wokeness and romantic mythology.”
The Real Threat: Abandonment of Scientific Rigor
The Spectator’s article highlights a concerning trend in modern scientific institutions: the gradual shift from evidence-based research to ideologically driven narratives. The AAS’s focus on gender and race statistics, at the expense of genuine scientific data, is a testament to this shift.
“The AAS ascribes such importance to facts and figures on gender and race, but not to scientific facts. This demonstrates it is anti-science.”
The Australian Academy of Science, once a revered institution, appears to be losing its way. The prioritization of woke ideology over rigorous scientific inquiry is not only a disservice to the scientific community but also to the general public that relies on such institutions for unbiased, evidence-based information. The Spectator’s article serves as a timely reminder of the importance of maintaining scientific integrity and the dangers of allowing ideology to cloud objective research.
“I have been saying for some time that many of our science institutions have become totally untrustworthy. By its wilful abandonment of quantitative analysis, the AAS has destroyed its reputation as a source of useful scientific advice. The media loves a bad news story – they should focus on what has happened to a once-esteemed organisation.
“The Australian Academy of Science is now a joke.”
Read the full article here.