Michael Brooks on omniscient scientists

“Many scientists seem to suffer from an inferiority complex. They often feel they are objects of suspicion, or under-appreciated. As a result, some have taken to declaring that the benefits of modern living, brought to you by science, show the discipline is all-powerful, an inside track on the truth about everything in the universe.”

- Michael Brooks, writing for the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ site

Brooks, a consultant for New Scientist, opens with this salvo before launching into a criticism of risk assessment concerning the Large Hadron Collider. In his piece, he discusses new evidence that CERN’s masterpiece might not be as safe as previously heralded.

That’s all very well and good, but we’re more interested in his view about scientists. Although LabLit agrees that some scientists do feel under-appreciated by society, we have not encountered scientists claiming that their profession was “all-knowing”. Indeed, scientists are often the most skeptical people in the room, about their own work as well as that of their colleagues.

Maybe we’ve just been going to different parties than Mr. Brooks.

You can read the entire piece here.