Episode 29: Matthew Crawford On The Destructive Corruption of Science


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Hi everyone,

In today’s new podcast episode, Jay Bhattacharya and Matthew Crawford discuss the corruption of science and the challenges it faces in the modern era. They explore the transformation of science from a small-scale, individual pursuit to a large-scale, corporate enterprise. They highlight the politicization of science and the influence of external entities on scientific research. The conversation also delves into the replication crisis in science and the need for reform. They propose alternative models, such as a review culture, to encourage independent thinking and foster a healthier scientific community. Jay Bhattacharya discusses the productivity of science, the centralization of science and politics, and the potential for decentralization as a solution. He highlights the challenge of attention and pre-selection in scientific research and the markers of quality in science. Bhattacharya also explores the advantages and disadvantages of centralized and decentralized models in science.

Matthew’s bio:

Matthew B. Crawford attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he majored in physics. Later he earned a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Chicago, specializing in ancient political thought.

He's a philosopher of science and the author of a number of best selling books, including "Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work"

Buy his book here:


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  • Science has transformed from a small-scale, individual pursuit to a large-scale, corporate enterprise, leading to its politicization and the need to serve external entities.

  • The authority of science as an arbiter of truth has led to a tension between the pursuit of truth and the need to align with various interests.

  • The replication crisis in science highlights the importance of independent replication and the need for reforms in the peer review process.

  • Alternative models, such as a review culture, could encourage independent thinking and foster a healthier scientific community.

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00:00 Introduction and Background

07:46 The Transformation of Science

11:45 The Authority of Science

14:41 Science as an Authority-Giving Power

18:11 The Corruption of Science

23:46 The Intimidation Factor in Science

26:27 Research Cartels and the Control of Resources

29:57 The Replication Crisis and the Need for Reform

36:38 Alternative Models: A Review Culture

42:38 Analogizing Science to the Movie Industry

46:03 The Role of Replication in Science

50:33 The Social Nature of Science

52:14 The Productivity of Science

55:19 Centralization of Science and Politics

56:22 Decentralization as a Solution

57:32 The Challenge of Attention and Pre-Selection

58:55 Markers of Quality in Science

59:51 Centralized vs Decentralized Models

01:00:16 Conclusion and Gratitude

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The Illusion of Consensus
The Illusion of Consensus
An independent podcast by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Rav Arora devoted to dismantling weaponized "consensus" in science. Weekly topics include Covid policy, online censorship, holistic medicine, mental health, and well-being.