Mad scientist.

Les OMG et la science au rabais

STANFORD – Dans le paysage médiatique d'aujourd'hui, où les opinions non fondées, le battage et les rumeurs vont bon train, la méthode scientifique (les moyens par lesquels nous déterminons, en fonction de preuves empiriques et mesurables, ce qui est vrai), doit servir de pierre de touche de la réalité. La science nous permet de mesurer l'étendue de nos connaissances et d'identifier ce que nous ne savons pas. Plus important encore, elle jette le discrédit sur les fausses affirmations faites pour des raisons personnelles ou politiques, ou du moins elle se doit de le faire.

Mais parfois quelques scientifiques « passent de l'autre côté » et délaissent la méthode scientifique (souvent pour des questions de notoriété ou de profit économique), pour produire de la propagande et semer la peur au sein de l'opinion publique qui ne dispose pas de compétences mais est toujours friande d'informations. Cet abus de l'autorité scientifique est particulièrement répandu dans les secteurs des aliments « biologiques » et « naturels », qui tirent profit de la peur éprouvée à l'égard des produits synthétiques ou « non naturels ».

Un exemple récent est celui du scientifique américain d'origine hindoue V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, qui, avec Prabhakar Deonikar, a publié cet article que tout le monde a tourné en dérision : « Les OGM accumulent-ils le formaldéhyde et perturbent-ils les équilibres des systèmes moléculaires ? La biologie des systèmes a peut-être certaines réponses. » (Les « OGM » sont des « organismes génétiquement modifiés », une catégorie en elle-même trompeuse et souvent injustement stigmatisée, qui englobe un univers d'organismes modifiés par les techniques plus modernes et les plus précises du génie génétique.)

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