After more than a hundred hours of private conversations on Zoom, Rupert and physicist turned neuroscientist Alex Gómez-Marín meet in person to discuss some of their favourite themes.
In this new installment, Rupert and Alex reflect on the scientific enterprise itself. Starting by acknowledging that new paradigms are near but never quite seem to make it, they address some of the deep reactionary forces that oppose such changes. This leads beyond the naïve understanding that science is just about data; core assumptions can make evidence irrelevant. Science must then be observed also from a sociological and historical perspective – the politics of knowledge are at stake. Deeper roots may be found in The Reformation: the current dogmatic materialist worldview is a kind of amnesic Protestantism squared. The conversation then leads to the obvious but non-trivial point that scientific facts are literally made, involving a consensus amongst experts who share the same model of reality. Other models (and other experts) are excluded. In that sense, Science (with capital S) is probably too Catholic. The future scientist will not have an easy time. And yet, all those minority reports are of majority interest.
This conversation was held on December 8th 2022 at Rupert’s house in London.
Dr Alex Gomez-Marin, PhD, is a Spanish theoretical physicist turned neuroscientist. He was a research fellow at the EMBL Center for Genomic Regulation and at the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown in Lisbon. He is currently the head of the Behavior of Organisms Laboratory at the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, as an Associate Professor of the Spanish Research Council. He is also the director of The Pari Center in Italy. https://behavior-of-organisms.org