Science in the post-truth era

The editorial in the latest issue of Current Science says:

Historically, there is nothing new about ‘post-truth’ responses to the perceived  ‘objective facts’ – observations people made about the world and the logical interpretations derived from them. Continued insistence by some philosophers and theologians that the earth is flat, centuries after the ancient Greeks began accumulating clear evidence that it is spherical; the Catholic church’s denial in the 17th century of the evidence that the earth orbits the sun rather than vice versa; and the tirades of denial and invective hurled at Darwin and his theory of evolution in the 19th century (and still continuing today in some places) evidence a longstanding post-truth tendency captured in the old joke ‘don’t confuse me with the facts – my mind is made up’. In its present-day manifestation, the post-truth debate has engulfed many ‘science facts’ and voices are heard that doubt climate change and believe that vaccinations can cause autism and compact fluorescent light bulbs cause cancer.

Read the full article in Current Science

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