Comedy gold at New Scientist — it really needs to be read to be believed. Kate Douglas reviews Aaron Panofsky’s book Misbehaving Science: Controversy and the development of behavior genetics, rising to a glorious crescendo with a restatement of Lewontin’s Fallacy (without giving any indication of recognizing it). If this book and review are panic symptoms, which seems highly plausible, Neo-Lysenkoism has to be sensing the winter winds of change. In any case, it somehow all went wrong for them:
The founding principles of social responsibility suffered, usurped by a responsibility to the discipline itself and to scientific freedom. And controversy bred controversy as the prospect of achieving notoriety attracted new talent. In short, the field became weak and poorly integrated, with low status, limited funding, and publicity the main currency of academic reward. This, according to Panofsky, is why it is afflicted with “persistent, ungovernable controversy” …
As a guide to what regional Cathedral breakdown looks like, this works quite well.