I think I feel weak in the knees.
A Program Official from the NIH actually giving advice other than to “revise and resubmit”?

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The trigger for this post was, I think, some discussion or other of Naomi Oreskes’ book “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming” [Amazon]. There’s a video of the author up at Deltoid blog for those that are interested. The major thesis of the book appears to be a discussion of how a small group of scientists applied tactics of sowing doubt about scientific consensus to several socio-political topics. As you know, I don’t handle the denialism thing around here. But what I got to thinking about was whether something related to “sowing doubt about scientific consensus” plays a role in our normal daily science lives, whether this role differs by scientific personality and how we decide what balance to strike in our own investigations.
When it comes to your publications and scientific directions, are you a science critic? Or do you devote your energies to finding new things that [might be] true and could not care any less about falsifying or criticizing the consensus of PubMed?

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