Tag Archives: science

Podcast: Science in the Time of Cancel Culture? – BBC Radio 4’s Analysis

I hosted last night’s episode of BBC Radio 4’s Analysis.

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In an age of social media ’cancel culture’ might be defined as an orchestrated campaign that seeks to silence or end the careers of people whose thoughts or opinions deviate from a new set of political norms. So if this threat exists for anyone expressing an opinion online in 2021, what’s it like for scientists working in academia and publishing findings that might be deemed controversial?

In this edition of Analysis, I assess the impact of modern social justice movements on scientific research and development. 

Is fear of personal or professional harm strengthening conformism or eviscerating robust intellectual debate? Can open-mindedness on controversial issues really exist in the scientific community? Or is rigorous public assessment of scientific findings helping to achieve better, more equitable and socially just outcomes?

So many great points I wish could have all been included from the interviewees who have found themselves in the firing line of current public discourse or who question the severity of this phenomenon and its political motives (in order of appearance):

My thanks to producer Craig Templeton Smith and editor Jasper Corbett.