“It is not a matter of science”

The spring of science begins on this week’s theme: “And tomorrow?”. This Monday evening, an interactive debate has been organized by the magazine, Science in the Age of Imagination and Science in the Age of Doubt. Rene Rezzohazi, professor of embryology and molecular biology at UCLouvain, was a guest of Matin Premiere.

At a time when the world needs science to defeat the Kovid-19 epidemic, there is growing skepticism in our societies about science. For Rene Rezzohazi, science and social networks don’t mix: “DAll the while, science has been challenged not only by scientists, but also by the general public. It turns out that with social networks, there is actually a huge sounding board that is given comments, claims that are not scientific, that question science, but in an unscientific way. This is what we want to discuss tonight. Of course, science is a human endeavor, I said, which is always questioned. But it is questioned in a scientific way, that is to say with a method of its own”, The scientist explains.

Critical thinking

Those who rule social networks in relation to Scientology point to skepticism: “A distinction must be made between methodological skepticism that corresponds to questioning scientific knowledge in a scientific way, then a type of skepticism or radical skepticism that says “I don’t believe it or I don’t believe it”. In fact, science is not a matter of opinion. We should be able to say in a scientific way why we think it is true or it is false. So I think we need to awaken all generations a little more towards culture, which effectively allows for a healthy, rational connection (address) of science to the critical spirit. And say “I don’t believe in coronavirus or I believe the earth is flat”. We should be able to support his comment in a critical and scientific way. Of course, the purpose of the debate will be to give place to the creation of scientific knowledge..

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Scientific skepticism

This question of scientific certainties also occurs in a context which some people consider contradictory. We need science to respond to contemporary challenges. However, we often speak of a contradiction between scientists to answer them, an epidemiologist and a microbiologist or even an infectious pathologist. How to navigate there too? Rene Rezzohazzi confirms that these are not contradictions: “CThose contradictions are not really contradictions. It should also be understood that addressing issues such as the coronavirus epidemic is the business of various scientific disciplines that do not have the same methodology. So if I take a molecular biologist who is going to try to figure out how the virus works, he is obviously going to consider it in a very fundamental way. An epidemiologist, he grapples with public health issues. And then, the doctors are grappling with the specificity of each of their patients. These are three approaches to the same reality, but which do not necessarily work with the same method, with the same approach that make it possible to validate knowledge. So these are not just contradictions. It is necessary to find points of convergence between various scientific disciplines that make it possible to deal with a question. And we can have an approach to any challenge, whether it is biodiversity and climate. There are so many admissions on one issue that there are so many approaches to deal with them. And to answer the problem properly, we should try to bring different scientific fields together.“.

This Spring Science week will end on 28 March.

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