After all, what’s less scientific than debate?
According to Suzanne LaBarre, PopSci’s “online content director”:
Comments can be bad for science. That’s why, here at PopularScience.com, we’re shutting them off.
It wasn’t a decision we made lightly. As the news arm of a 141-year-old science and technology magazine, we are as committed to fostering lively, intellectual debate as we are to spreading the word of science far and wide. The problem is when trolls and spambots overwhelm the former, diminishing our ability to do the latter…
A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to “debate” on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.
Well, it’s their site and they can do whatever they want with it. And we can laugh at them for being huge crybabies. Oh no, not everybody agrees with every single “scientifically validated topic”? The “popular consensus” is eroding? Wahhhhh!
Yeah, that’s what science is all about: Getting people to shut up and do as they’re told.
(Hat tip: Ann Althouse)
Update: Good point that I missed…
@jtLOL They say comments have become political yet overlook the fact that scientific research has become political as well.
— NΞØNTΛSTΞR (@neontaster) September 25, 2013