Saturday 22nd of January 2022

the science pudding...


The editorial of the SCIENCE magazine (11 Jan 2022) is forcefully telling a relative truth, but somewhat in a hypocritical manner. 


The catch line is: "Because science benefits from dissent within the scientific community to sharpen ideas and thinking, scientists’ ability to freely voice legitimate disagreement should not be constrained."


In the age of Covid, this advice of taking dissent into account has been flaunted. Dissent is rejected quickly, because SCIENCE and POLITICS have meshed, like RELIGION and POLITICS used to be embedded together in the past. Is this SCIENCE/POLITICS relationship healthy? NO. A simple NO. Sciences seek the truth — the relative truth — while politics in most of its incarnation is DECEITFUL. I DO NO SAY THIS LIGHTLY. Humans have relied on deceit in order to survive in the natural world, including deceit amongst each other. The way the present US government behaves in relation to Russia and China is for example deceitful and bombastic.



I will use Bertolt Brecht words to temper the enthusiasm: 


"The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error…"



Here is the SCIENCE editorial in full. Comments will follow.



"Strengthening scientific integrity"


A robust democracy requires a common wellspring of reliable information. During his first days in office, US President Biden affirmed that evidence-based decision-making—informed by vigorous science and unimpeded by political interference—would be a pillar of his administration. He directed ambitious actions to implement that goal, including the creation of an interagency Scientific Integrity Task Force, which has just released the first-ever, comprehensive assessment of scientific integrity policy and practices in the US government.


The task force included 48 scientists, statisticians, engineers, lawyers, and policy-makers with a diversity of experiences from 29 federal agencies, and it received input from hundreds of outside experts from academia, the nonprofit sector, industry, and the public. The group found that although federal agency science is generally sound—that is, reported violations of scientific integrity policies are small in number compared to the magnitude of the federal scientific enterprise—there have been lapses that could undermine public trust in science and jeopardize federal scientists’ and technologists’ morale and motivation to innovate.

For example, during Hurricane Dorian’s approach in 2019, then US President Trump tweeted information contradicting the official forecast of scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Senior political leadership then directed NOAA to issue a press release supporting the president’s inaccurate forecast, in effect manipulating scientific information, jeopardizing public safety, and undermining public confidence in government. In another instance, the Trump administration added a citizenship question to the 2020 census, overruling Census Bureau scientists who cited clear evidence that doing so would depress the response rate and could jeopardize census quality.


These and other violations informed the task force’s recommendations, including the importance of best practices that continually reinforce a culture of integrity across the government. The report recommends the creation of a permanent interagency Scientific Integrity Council to facilitate dissemination and uptake of best practices, and communication training for scientists so that they can be more effective in explaining results to their policy superiors, to the media, and to the public. It also emphasizes the importance of meaningful and appropriate consequences for violations.



In 2009, under US President Obama, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) identified six principles of scientific integrity: science and technology positions in the executive branch should be filled by candidates with appropriate experience; agencies should have rules to ensure the integrity of their scientific process; research that informs agency decisions should be subject to peer review; barring restrictions, scientific or technological findings that inform policy decisions should be available to the public; agencies should address instances in which the integrity of scientific and technological processes and information may be compromised; and agencies should adopt procedures that ensure the integrity of scientific and technological processes and information used to inform decision-making.

Drawing on the 2021 task force report, the OSTP now proposes five additional principles. Because science benefits from dissent within the scientific community to sharpen ideas and thinking, scientists’ ability to freely voice legitimate disagreement should not be constrained. Another principle is that scientific integrity policies should apply to all federal agencies and departments engaged in the production, analysis, use, and communication of evidence, science, and technology. Moreover, these policies must apply to political appointees, career employees, and contractors. A further principle is grounded in the knowledge that science needs to be understood and actively considered during decision-making. Therefore, scientists should routinely participate actively in policy-making. Also, to promote accountability to the American public, federal scientists should be able to speak freely about their unclassified research, including to the press. And, accountability must be upheld. Violations of scientific integrity policies should be taken seriously and considered comparable to violations of government ethics rules.



In phase two, OSTP will work to implement these best practices and make the new principles operational. Every day, federal scientists and technologists help to tackle the greatest challenges that society faces. Let’s make sure that this crucial work is supported and protected.




Presently, in Gus’s humble opinion, the Science community has lost some its momentum. Several factors came into play. The big one that comes to mind was the advent of Trump who was imbecilic in regard to sciences (and politics). But really...


"the first-ever, comprehensive assessment of scientific integrity policy and practices in the US government.?


If you believe in this you are nuts, NUTS. The US President is one of the most deceitful guy on the planet. And not only Biden. Since the end of WW2, all the US Presidents have been deceitful on most issues, including using sciences for nefarious ends. They have. And there was a sort of “scientific control/advice” over the US military options.



After 59 years of service, Jason, the famed science advisory group, was being fired, and it didn't know why. On 29 March, the exclusive and shadowy group of some 65 scientists received a letter from the Department of Defense (DOD) saying it had just over a month to pack up its files and wind down its affairs. "It was a total shock," said Ellen Williams, Jason's vice chair and a physicist at the University of Maryland in College Park. "I had no idea what the heck was going on."


The letter terminated Jason's contract with DOD's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USDR&E) in Arlington, Virginia, which was Jason's contractual home—the conduit through which it was paid for all of its government work. So, in effect, the letter killed off all of Jason's work for defense and nondefense agencies alike.



So there.


Biden is a “religious” Catholic guy and it is hard to gauge how truthful he is to “his" religious beliefs, considering he is losing his marble, but over the years, we have learnt that Biden had very very little integrity. This trait was somewhat whitewashed by the “liberal” media to make him electable in 2020 as “Biden has changed. He is a reformed sympathetic man.” or such crap.


In Gus’s book, there is no relationship between sciences and religion unless one joins them with a high dose of stupidity and hypocrisy. Religion and politics are well suited to each other in their own delusions.


Presently, the knowledge about Covid-19 is still in a flux but we are made to believe as if it was absolute, though the new mantra is that "lockdowns are out”. “Let it rip” is in. THIS IS A SWITCH from a political perspective, nothing scientific about… The experience of New South Wales is telling. 


The “new” NSW Premier seems to be a moron on anything that is not accountancy. I did not say “accountable” because social issues are never black and white and are accountable with various loadings for the well-being of most. I use the word “new” because Perrottet was the treasurer who fiddled the books to suit a rosy budget, including selling the NSW railways to… NSW. Things are not that simple. In terms of social values and heritage, Perrottet is an ignoramus — and a religious bigot to boot. Dominic has to learn fast on the job and his advisors (if he has any non moronic ones) are not helping, though his health minister and the chief doctor are doing their best to contain the breach. People are dying, people get infected.


Under the threat of a $1000 fine, people with “private” positive RATs have thus reported their status to the government: more than 60,000 Covid-19 infection reported yesterday (11/01/2021)… Now this could mean not much scientifically. At this stage we are still in the dark as to what’s what in terms of becoming sick or infecting someone else. Social distancing and masks, plus QR-codes still make sense.


In regard to the "scientific integrity policy and practices in the US government”, be prepared for some uneasy fiddles, because sciences ARE NOT ABSOLUTE and governments are deceitful…


Many example come to mind but we will reserve these for another rainy day...

scientific fiddles...


In late 1987, Robert Malone performed a landmark experiment. He mixed strands of messenger RNA with droplets of fat, to create a kind of molecular stew. Human cells bathed in this genetic gumbo absorbed the mRNA, and began producing proteins from it1.

Realizing that this discovery might have far-reaching potential in medicine, Malone, a graduate student at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, later jotted down some notes, which he signed and dated. If cells could create proteins from mRNA delivered into them, he wrote on 11 January 1988, it might be possible to “treat RNA as a drug”. Another member of the Salk lab signed the notes, too, for posterity. Later that year, Malone’s experiments showed that frog embryos absorbed such mRNA2. It was the first time anyone had used fatty droplets to ease mRNA’s passage into a living organism.

Those experiments were a stepping stone towards two of the most important and profitable vaccines in history: the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines given to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Global sales of these are expected to top US$50 billion in 2021 alone.

But the path to success was not direct. For many years after Malone’s experiments, which themselves had drawn on the work of other researchers, mRNA was seen as too unstable and expensive to be used as a drug or a vaccine. Dozens of academic labs and companies worked on the idea, struggling with finding the right formula of fats and nucleic acids — the building blocks of mRNA vaccines.

The debate over who deserves credit for pioneering the technology is heating up as awards start rolling out — and the speculation is getting more intense in advance of the Nobel prize announcements next month. But formal prizes restricted to only a few scientists will fail to recognize the many contributors to mRNA’s medical development. In reality, the path to mRNA vaccines drew on the work of hundreds of researchers over more than 30 years.

The story illuminates the way that many scientific discoveries become life-changing innovations: with decades of dead ends, rejections and battles over potential profits, but also generosity, curiosity and dogged persistence against scepticism and doubt. “It’s a long series of steps,” says Paul Krieg, a developmental biologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who made his own contribution in the mid-1980s, “and you never know what’s going to be useful”.



The debate should also include the controversy of manufacturing a “targeting mRNA” rather than let the “natural mRNAs” do their jobs. In regard to the history and status of the Covid-19 virus, it won’t be for another ten years that we will know “the truth”: — 


A) the origin of the disease


B) was there an “original thought” (as some secret documents seem to suggest) of creating an mRNA molecule (vaccine) to combat a “bat virus” in bats, in a test that got out of hand, but eventually helped the big Pharmas’ profit-making ventures through governments having to buy vaccines “for humans”.


C) Do the Covid-19 targeting designed mRNA hinder other natural immune system to other diseases?


D) How much altruism has been part of the process. Is there an uneasy differential between public deficit and private profits in such instance. Patents?


E) Have we used the best political tools to achieve minimum deaths and infection rates: lockdowns or not, masks or such, vaccinations that are too specific — thus leading to the need of more vaccination to combat “variants”?


F) is this a continuing battle like fighting the “flu” forever, unlike the eradication of small pox?


G) is everything rosy?


H) is “applied” sciences is made to benefit all?




There are of course various levels of “sciences” — from theoretical, research, to applied. Each level carry their amount of “uncertainty” AND profitability/expenses. Politics (on the whole very dishonest) interfere with EVERY level of sciences. Hence NASA and other scientific institutions having budget issues "forcing them" to do private/public arrangements (making Elon rich)… AND THERE is SABOTAGE, accidental deviations from the original purposes. Beyond this, scientists are humans and make mistakes.


A this stage, we need to keep an open mind:


Because science benefits from dissent within the scientific community to sharpen ideas and thinking, scientists’ ability to freely voice legitimate disagreement should not be constrained.


I hope this is loud and clear...


see also: 

are these documents authentic?...