[Coral-List] Insults to scientists

Alex Brylske brylske at me.com
Thu Mar 9 12:04:26 EST 2017


Here’s an even more recent example of the ignorance of those who govern us, which I use in my classes.


Alex Brylske
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brylske at me.com

> On Mar 8, 2017, at 3:43 PM, Dennis Hubbard <dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu> wrote:
> I've been lurking, but had to weight in...
> I'd vote for the "Proxmire Award". Way back when, this was a senator from
> (I think) Wisconsin who gave the "Golden Fleece Award" each year for what
> he thought was the most rediculous waste of tax-payers' funds awarded to
> the scientific community. His zll-time top honor went to a large grant for
> fruit-fly research that was (eventually) pivotal in identifying Legionaires
> Disease - I guess he lost the veterans' vote on that one. Anyway, when he
> was eventually sued for slander, he argued that was protected from slander
> suit regarding anything he said as a senator.... it turned out that this
> protection only extended to things said on the floor of the Senate - and
> the award disappeared soon after.
> The lessons here are that: 1)  good science often looks like pork to those
> without perspective, 2) pork-wise, Proxmire was the "pot" in "the pot
> calling the kettle black" parable, and 3) "alternate facts" are the stuff
> of raw amateurs when it come to what can be said in the well of Congress.
> Good luck picking out an uglier fish!
> Dennis
> On Tue, Mar 7, 2017 at 11:59 AM, Matt Nolan <mpnolan at lbl.gov> wrote:
>> We had the 8 ball award at boy scout camp.
>> An award is useless with out an equally imaginative form.
>> There must be some ugly, nasty, vile looking underwater critter we can
>> adopt as the "mascot" for the award.
>> On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 7:10 PM, Sheppard, Charles
>> <Charles.Sheppard at warwick.ac.uk> wrote:
>>> Sarah Frias-Torres says she has been called an ‘Environmental Nazi’ when
>> she tells people what sort of things need to be done to help reefs (or
>> indeed any of the oceans’ habitats).   Let us on Coral-List have a
>> competition for the most imaginative insult.  I would like to offer two
>> entries: I have been called in public:
>>> a ‘scientific fascist’ (by a lawyer representing a vested interest) for
>> using data to demonstrate an unwelcome point – clearly a shocking thing to
>> try and do!  Also, a ‘people killer’ when pointing out in a keynote at a
>> sustainable development conference that the number of people already living
>> on the island that the conference was held in was not sustainable.
>>> Our competition might award a ‘Virtual Coral’ prize to the recipient of
>> the most absurd or imaginative insult.  Then, seriously, we should use the
>> list in a well-placed article on this whole head-in-the-sand and denial
>> problem.
>>> Best wishes
>>> Charles Sheppard
>>> Professor Emeritus
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> -- 
> Dennis Hubbard
> Chair, Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
> (440) 775-8346
> * "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
> Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"
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