Proof that some Western scientists conceal facts for political reasons – virus lab leak

The Telegraph:

Scientists believed Covid leaked from Wuhan lab – but feared debate could hurt ‘international harmony’

“Leading British and US scientists thought it was likely that Covid accidentally leaked from a laboratory but were concerned that further debate would harm science in China, emails show.” (…)

““I think this becomes a question of how do you put all this together, whether you believe in this series of coincidences, what you know of the lab in Wuhan, how much could be in nature – accidental release or natural event? I am 70:30 or 60:40.””

“Later emails showed that by February 4, Sir Jeremy had revised his estimate of a laboratory leak to 50:50, while Professor Eddie Holmes, of the University of Sydney, gave a 60:40 estimate in favour of an accidental release.” (…)

“The new details came to light after members of the US Republican House Oversight Committee were granted access to the documents, after complaining that their content had been heavily redacted when released under Freedom of Information requests.” (…)

“The emails were sent in response to a teleconference between 12 scientists including Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, on February 1.”

“The emails show that by February 2 2020, scientists were already trying to shut down the debate into the laboratory leak theory.”

“An email from Dr Ron Fouchier to Sir Jeremy said: “Further debate about such accusations would unnecessarily distract top researchers from their active duties and do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular.””

“Dr Collins, former director of the NIH, replied to Sir Jeremy stating: “I share your view that a swift convening of experts in a confidence-inspiring framework is needed or the voices of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and international harmony.””

“Institutions which held the emails have repeatedly resisted efforts to publish their content.”

“The University of Edinburgh recently turned down an Freedom of Information request from The Telegraph asking to see Prof Rambaut’s replies, claiming “disclosure would be likely to endanger the physical or mental health and safety of individuals”.”

The Telegraph:

I was duped by the Covid lab leak deniers

“That senior scientists saw evidence for theories that they trashed in public has shattered trust in science”

It’s maybe impossible to know the real origin of Covid-19 or perhaps it one day turns out that it was not a lab leak, but trust in science is nevertheless shattered because the information in the above-mentioned emails should have been public knowledge from day one.

Both the social sciences and natural sciences have suffered a serious replication crisis. Nature:

1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility

Defenders of science have said that the replication crisis shows that science actually works, because the crisis was discovered by scientists themselves. This argument is convincing, at least to some extent. But when politics becomes involved, even in the natural sciences, then academics are just human beings, conforming too often when 1) being pressured by those with money and power, or 2) being influenced by ideological or social interests, as seen when epidemiologists defended BLM protests in the middle of a pandemic.

The New York Times:

Are Protests Dangerous? What Experts Say May Depend on Who’s Protesting What

For more on how politics lead to bias check out Scientific American:

Science Denial versus Science Pleasure

Also recommend The Secret Anarchy of Science by Michael Brooks.

Some will ask if my views here on drone-surveillance.info are biased because of my partly conservative aesthetic values. My answer:

Yes!

But I’m honest about it. And when I’m in science mode, driven by curiosity, a state of mind I’m in 70% of the time, then I’m obviously fascinated and entertained by all the discoveries done by people in Big Tech, including the fun things Elon Musk are doing. Curiosity however is not the same as ethics or aesthetics. When writing about the latter one can’t avoid subjective biases.

Will always point out that scientific methods and practices are the best path we have to gradually getting as reliable knowledge as humanly possible, but I trust freethinkers like Nassim Taleb more than I trust Big Science.

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