Towards the end of his final book Brief Answers to the Big Questions that was recently published after his death, in addition to commenting on various issues and threats that humankind faces, Stephen Hawking makes the claim that “we are witnessing a global revolt against experts, which includes scientists”.
While Mr Hawking is no doubt deserving of the reverence accorded him as one of humanity’s greatest physicists, it was perhaps because of this fame, and also the fact that he himself was one of the expert scientists whose claims should be subject to rigorous analysis or at least healthy scepticism, that he was unable to understand a layperson’s doubt regarding the authenticity of a lot of research.
It is actually extremely important to be sceptical of and to question not just the opinions of experts, but also their supposedly meticulously conducted research. This is especially essential in these times of fake news, however, as we’ve touched on before and will examine in more detail later on, scientific and academic research are both prone to intentionally misleading findings, and extensive fraud.
In the next few articles we’ll look at some examples that demonstrate just how imperative it is to be sceptical of the claims made by experts.
Stephen Hawking warns from beyond the grave of threats 'too big and too numerous'