Monday, 31 December 2007

Running up against orthodoxy

There is much food for thought in Brian Martin's Dissent and heresy in medicine: models, methods and strategies:
An orthodoxy that draws on the full range of resources, namely which exercises unified domination, is incredibly difficult to challenge. Many challengers subscribe to the myth of scientific medicine as being based on open-minded examination of evidence, and thus handicap themselves, since in practice they are ignored or attacked. In order to have a chance, they need to understand that science and medicine are systems of knowledge intertwined with power, and that if their alternative relies entirely on knowledge, without a power base, it is destined for oblivion.
Strategies for dissidents and heretics are offered, including this advice:
Although rejection of dissent and heresy is the standard mode of operation of science, the establishment normally trades on a belief that ideas are treated on their merits... If challengers can reveal the reality, for example by showing that defenders of orthodoxy use double standards, lie, unfairly block publications, harass opponents, destroy documents, withdraw grants or dismiss researchers, this can lend credibility to the challengers and attract support for fairer treatment.

1 comment:

Am Ang Zhang said...

Thank you for bringing me to the attention of Brian Martin's book. The initial reception of Jenner's work on the smallpox vaccination and the cuckoo by the establishment is a prime example of how difficult it could be.

The Cockroach Catcher