Why scientists are changing their minds and disagreeing during the coronavirus pandemic

In our culture, we often hold politicians, corporate executives and other leaders accountable for the consistency of their positions. In political debates, candidates will often point out on the debate stage that a rival swung to the left or right over a controversial issue. It suggests a lack of authenticity, or even careerism, and indicates that they can’t be trusted to do what’s right for their constituents.

In the scientific world, it’s expected that even the highest-ranking academics will evolve their thinking — and many have done so during this COVID-19 pandemic.

But some scientists fear that the public doesn’t understand this, and is losing faith in scientists who change their minds. And that’s having real consequences on the front lines.

  • The changing recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic on things such as whether to wear face masks has confused the public and caused them to lose faith in science.
  • But changing your mind based on new evidence is a badge of honor in the scientific community.
  • The situation is complicated by the fact that preprint research is often being debated in public on social media, instead of behind closed doors.

Read this full article on https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/23/why-scientists-change-their-mind-and-disagree.html

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