Scientific consensus is almost a contradiction in terms. From Maryann Demasi at maryanndemasi.substack.com:
In a recent interview, famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was challenged on his scientific views about COVID-19 and he said “I’m only interested in consensus” – words that would have Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei rolling in their graves.
The appeal to “scientific consensus” is fraught with problems, just like “the science is settled” and “trust the science” and other authoritarian tropes that have dominated the pandemic.
A widely accepted theory, such as the theory of evolution, depends on a consensus being reached among the scientific community, but it must be achieved without censorship or reprisal.
As Aaron Kheriaty, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, recently said:
Science is an ongoing search for truth & such truth has little to do with consensus. Every major scientific advance involves challenges to a consensus. Those who defend scientific consensus rather than specific experimental findings are not defending science but partisanship.
Consensus by Censorship
It’s not difficult to reach a scientific consensus when you squelch dissenting voices.
The origin of COVID is a classic example. Twenty-seven scientists published a letter in The Lancet condemning “conspiracy theories” that suggested the virus did not have a natural origin. Dissenting views were censored on social media and labelled “misinformation.”