Increasingly, our culture will have to be built around maintaining elderly people whose prospects of returning to independent good health or of ever being economically productive is essentially nil. What then will be the core value of our culture?
Obviously, the process by which papers are accepted or rejected by peer reviewers is all to do with scientific quality and the scientific community is built around a common understanding of what that means. Or is it?
Contrary to Steven Pinker’s recent attempt to rehabilitate “scientism”, I argue that the word should stand for a persistent belief that the trustworthiness of institutionalised science is a matter of fact rather than something that needs to be subject to continuous empirical re-evaluation.