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[N.Monks@nhm.ac.uk: Orthodoxy in science]

This recently appeared on PaleoNet, and I thought it might be of interest:

  Date: Sat, 28 Sep 1996 17:46:24 -0700
  From: N.Monks@nhm.ac.uk (Neale Monks)
  To: Multiple recipients of list <paleonet@ucmp1.berkeley.edu>
  Subject: Orthodoxy in science

  Dear All,

  Last night, on the BBC Home Service, their was a science programme
  discussing orthodoxy and academic vested interest in science. One of
  their case histories was the K - T boundary, a subject dear to the
  hearts of many of those in this group.
  The bottom line was that the sexiness of the asteroid impact theory
  and the ease with which the media can add 'spin' (i.e. contemporary
  meaning) to the tale has allowed what is, at best, a contreversial
  hypothesis to be accepted with all the gravity of an accepted theory
  like Newtonian mechanics (if you will pardon the pun).
  Interviews with scientists like Hallam and Maclean made me feel this
  was more about personalities than science: where some will 'jump on
  the bandwagon' of a charismatic and / or Machiavellian self
  publicist;other's with alternative theories with more experience and
  equally compelling evidence (irrespective of whether they are right
  or wrong) are banished to the backwaters (i.e Europe and Canada?).
  Any thoughts?


  From  Neale Monks' Macintosh PowerBook, at...

  Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD
  Internet: N.Monks@nhm.ac.uk, Telephone: 0171-938-9007