THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Going into specific details of what is called a "scientific method" would take us a great deal of writing and exposition. Thus, we can't do it. However, what we can do is to provide you with the abbreviated version, which is equally powerful. It goes like this:
- There must be independent confirmation of the experiment.
- There must be variables quantitatively (not qualitatively) measured.
- There must be significant and broad-based debate of the issue.
- There must not be any privileged opinion, particularly from authority.
- Every link in a chain of ideas generating a hypothesis must work.
- There must not be privileged hypothesis.
- Attempts must be made to falsify hypothesis. Unfalsifiable hypothesis should be disregarded.
- Unquantifiable hypothesis should be disregarded.
- The phenomenon in question must be hypothesized in many ways and those ways must be systematically disproved. Whatever is left is the best model we can come up with.
- When presented with multiple hypothesis which are similarly robust, the simplest must be chosen.
Of course, the principles above described are oversimplifications, but they will provide you with a glimpse outlining the effort involved in developing a truly scientific hypothesis. Only a hypothesis, an idea that goes through this grueling trial by fire and survives, can be called a "scientific truth". As you can see, the standard is pretty tall, actually, horrifically high. On purpose. To minimize errors. And we go through it because it works. And this is the ultimate self-justification. Nothing else comes even close.
PUBLIC HEALTH CARE RESEARCH AS AN OPINION
Now that we have seen what it actually takes to create a "scientific truth", we must ask; are the so-called truths being taught in Schools of Public Health truly "scientific truths"? Yes and no.
On the scientific side if the scientific truths being delivered were scientifically developed (typically by other people) following the scientific method, then yes. For example truths that were developed by Biostatisticians and Epidemiologists. But what are the chances? Based on curriculum alone, we know that graduates from these so-called "Schools" will have, on average and by comparison, a lighter education in Biostatistics or Epidemiology or Genetics than the pros. What kind of scientific truth do you think they will be able to deliver? We leave that for your consideration.
Unfortunately, the whole thing does not end there. They declare that they can use scientific principles in this area, i.e. the implementation of public health care, and move forward. What you will see in many of their "papers" and "lectures" and "documentaries" dealing with health care policies is a mish-mash of statistics of variable quality, questionable simulations, personal opinions, half-baked ethics of all colours or religious points of view of all denominations, political views and whatever else they can throw in. In summary, a great deal of opinions. What you will almost never see are hard-core results baked in the fire of the scientific method. This is so because once crossing over the political line, the scientific method is not only an inconvenient truth but a politically incorrect way of thinking.
Excellent question grasshopper. For that, the romans had an answer: Cui Bono?
The big problem with many such "Schools" is that, on average, they are not qualified to do actual true scientific research in the subject of policy implementation or design (emphasis on "scientific" since anybody can do "research"). Thus, they must stuff their so-called "curriculum" with all kinds of "other" lectures and lecturers. They do so because in this "other" area is where they find a great deal of "usable" material which necessarily leads to "politically correct" points of view… which are… whatever politicians decide they must be. Today. Tomorrow this will change. A little.
Not only that, in those "other" areas there is more than sufficient "flexibility" to be able to claim that most "sensible" views are represented while at the same time leaving so many backdoors open that no matter what the prevalent political wind direction may be, they are covered because they can turn on a dime.
And why would they want to do so?
Cui bono! Of course.
If we want to get to the bottom of these "Schools" we need to look deeper into their finances… or to be precise… lack of thereof. Typically these schools are not self-sustainable. And why would that be? Because nobody actually cares about them. Therefore they must find a way to justify their existence… in other words… what the citizens of the USA call a "sugar daddy". And who would that "sugar daddy" be? Typically… the government!
These kinds of "Schools" typically survive from the "kindness of strangers"… and by that we mean us and you… our taxes and your taxes to be precise.
These kinds of "Schools" live of "grants" and "donations" and "stipends" and "contributions" and "research contracts" that, surprise, surprise come from… the government!
Now, let's be fair. In some cases these… "contributions" are direct and open and visible. In many other cases however they are indirect but they originate from governments nevertheless.
Let's imagine a completely fictitious process where any similarity with reality is purely coincidental:
- Desperate director of School needs to justify hyper-inflated salary or become unemployed.
- Desperate director of School convinces big and glamorous College or University to add many "breadth" or "rounding" or "social awareness" or "humanistic" courses into the mandatory part of the curriculum of hard sciences, thus ensuring an endless supply of forced "students".
- Desperate director of School offers to provide these courses "for free" on the condition the "School" becoming part of the College or University… with access and sharing rights to the budget of the before mentioned College or University.
- Desperate director then goes to government outlining the plan to "educate" many "students" in the "correct" way of thinking with regards to Public Health Care Policy, thus ensuring a faithful horde of political voters and followers.
- Desperate director then "suggests" to politicians that in order for this to happen they must further "support" the College or University where the School resides (coincidentally) through the increase of "payments" for students to a "public" institution and thus to its budget… budget to which the "School" now has access to and owns a piece (coincidentally too).
See? Happy ending… Just not for our taxes or your taxes. Hypothetically speaking, that is.
But is this the end? Not a chance.
THE ONGOING ONSLAUGHT
After all this is said and done, here is where the fun begins as the "School" now needs to deliver on its promise. And deliver they do. They typically deliver some sort of "soft" course to fulfil the need for "breadth" at the university or college level thus spreading the "good word" to the un-initiated. The issue is that the content of those courses are typically very light on science. There are almost always devoid of scientific truth but on the same token, they are almost always packed with socialistic points of view from an extremely variable array of people which includes anybody from janitors to social workers, from PhD's to politicians, pet owners, painters, martial artists, judges, and babies (preferably newborn to harness the "cuteness" effect with the ladies). No, we are not making this stuff up. If you don't believe us, just go to almost any "reputable" university and inquire about the mandatory "soft" courses that all hard-core science or technology students must go through. You will be surprised, this much we can guarantee. The problem is, you won't be happy. At all.
The next step is to create a Masters or a PhD program in "Public Health Care". Typically these programs contain piggy-back courses. What are piggy-back courses? Simple. The so-called "School" makes their mandatory and optional courses the same as some courses in the carer of Medicine, Nursing, Veterinary, Statistics, and so on. Presto! 90% of the curriculum is covered. No effort required. The other 10% of the curriculum is typically created by plagiarizing re-using vast amounts of materials from other courses and giving them a different orientation. Curriculum? 100% done!
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is where the real s*it storm begins.
It so happens that by enacting this "process", the "School" has now "enhanced" its "reputation" and "standing in the community" and as such it is "entitled" to become part of the "grassroots" movement(s) which will "influence" the way "Public Health Care" policies are not only delivered but designed "for the good of society". Basically, they have become their own lobbyists for their own reasons and on their own behalf.
And what do they lobby about?
Excellent question grasshopper. Cui bono?
They will lobby for whatever the current public health policy may be. They can do so because they have the "clout" and the "know how" through their many "people-years" worth of "research" in the "areas" of "Public Health Care". This is, of course, a fail-proof scheme for as long as governments exist. Why? Because every single politician is well aware that people are stupid and as such they want free health care. Thus, they will oblige no matter the cost…to your taxes and our taxes. But in order to justify these "unforeseen" expenditures, they absolutely must have a "scientific" basis for their justification. Voila! Here is where the "School" comes in handy by providing such "reputable scientific opinion"… which happens to be whatever politicians want at the time. What makes this scheme even better, is that no matter what politicians will demand from the "School", it will always be socialistic in nature because people want their free stuff. It really does not matter who is in power, left, right, president, king, dictator… it is utterly irrelevant. Public health care policies will always be left-oriented.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.