Thursday, October 18, 2012
In the NYRB, Freeman Dyson exemplifies why the credibility of scientists is fading.
Heidegger himself lost his credibility in 1933 when he accepted the position of rector of the University of Freiburg under the newly established Hitler government and became a member of the Nazi Party.
So, Heidegger's ideas were credible before 1933, but after 1933 the very same ideas were unbelievable? How about Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, no longer credible or still politically correct?
Or Werner von Braun's rockets won't work in the free world?
I was thinking some more about this. I've never come across a science or engineering journal that mentioned someone's politics. What matters is demonstrating that the accuracy of momentum is inverse to the accuracy location, or that liquid fuel rockets have more thrust than solid fuel rockets, and not Heisenberg's or von Braun's other activities or beliefs. It's in a literary magazine -- other book reviews are similar -- that people's competence is judged primarily by their politics.

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