From Matthew Yglesias via Nate Silver:
“Why spend your day in nasty fights on Twitter when you could be doing science? Then if you secure your impression of what “the scientists” think about something from scanning Twitter, you will perceive a consensus that is not really there. If something is a 70-30 issue but the 30 are keeping their heads down, it can look like a 98-2 issue.”
Remember that when you hear someone say science is unanimous about anything. Most people want to avoid conflict, avoid ridicule even if their position has merit. By the way, this quote is from an article about the debate over the origins of the damn virus. An increasing number of people with legitimate knowledge think evidence exists that the virus escaped from a lab in China. One side in America doesn’t want to believe that is true, the other side doesn’t want to believe anything else. Given how the Chinese government will never cooperate, we will almost certainly never know the real answer.
“Pure” science, if such a thing exists, is about following all relevant evidence even if it takes you somewhere you don’t want to go. This has implications beyond the damn virus, of course.