Is science a free country?
It's a spectrum. The anti-scientists, those who don't know or care, and the science worshipers.
We all start out not knowing.
The we split into worshipers or anti-scientists.
The anti-scientists become more spiritual, if they weren't already, when they realize they are against scientific progress. They find support in various groups that praise God's word or the purity of not meddling with Nature.
Science worshipers are students and laypeople who like to read Nobel Laureates' autobiographies. They have a rose-coloured view of science on a pedestal, having only heard the good parts, they are mostly unaware of all the blood, sweat and tears that go into every great advance.
But where are the scientists on the spectrum?
Most non-scientists assume we are all science worshipers.
While most of us have a profound respect for good science, this is often accompanied by a profound disgust for many of our fellow scientists, and much of the scientific system as it now stands.
Does that make us bad scientists? No. It has no correlation with the quality of our work.
Yet I've noticed a disturbing trend, much like the preference of our President to surround himself with yes-men.
It seems that those who criticize the scientific system are assumed to be bad scientists.
Surely, goes the assumption, they are not successful, and that has made them bitter. Their concerns are irrelevant.
I've realized of late that science worshipers can do a lot of damage. When I was a YoungFemaleStudent, I too followed the science worshiper commandments. They went something like this:
1. Thou Shalt have no other gods than Nobel Laureates.
2. Thou Shalt speak no ill of science or scientists.
3. Honor thy teacher.
4. Thou Shalt Love Science Homework.
5. Thou Shalt set as your only goal to be a professor.
While Commandment #2 makes sense in terms of not siding with the anti-scientists, if you can't criticize your own country, it's not a free country.
Even if it's not strictly true for the U.S., scientists should strive for more separation of church and state.