This article from the Wall Street Journal (“A Scientist Who Said No to Covid Groupthink”, 6/11/21) is an inspiring story of scientific integrity in the face of pressure to conform. Integrity is sticking to the truth despite pressure to do otherwise. A major source of such pressure, and an extremely serious problem in science, is government funding of scientific research. This creates a vested interest in not contradicting the beliefs of those with the money out of fear that you will not receive more grants.
Article by Raymond C. Niles from AIER.
In the article, Dr. Filippa Lentzos states it plainly, “There were people that did not talk about this, because they feared for their careers. They feared for their grants.” This fear of the loss of grants — and, therefore, livelihoods — undercuts the willingness of scientists “to stick their necks out” with unpopular — but potentially true — viewpoints on the origins of the Covid virus.
Dr. Lentzos was one of a small group of scientists who did stick her neck out early during the Covid crisis, expressing a belief that is only now being countenanced by government officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Biden. In a piece written in May 2020, she publicly expressed her belief that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid, may have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a Chinese government-run research lab that also received funding from French, Canadian, and U.S. government-funded laboratories.
While the source of the Covid virus is still being debated — particularly, whether it emerged from a wild animal “wet market” in Wuhan or from the lab — I especially like the nuance with which Dr. Lentzos treats the issue. She distinguishes between the likely scenario of the Covid virus being accidentally released from a lab versus the unlikely scenario of an intentional release to cause havoc in the world.
Of course, this issue of not displeasing the people holding the purse strings applies to private funding sources, too, but there is a huge difference. Private funding is voluntary, and that means there will be as much of a diversity of funding sources as there are people with money and differing viewpoints. In contrast, the government is monolithic and has the power to overrun scientific fields with mountains of money that get paid out whether we like it or not because the money comes from taxes, which government coercion forces us to pay.
What is the solution to this problem of scientific groupthink? Fundamentally, it is up to each scientist to decide whether to choose the path of scientific integrity. But that path of integrity is made much easier when government’s coercive influence is removed from the picture. Government must stop lending its imprimatur of authority to specific scientific viewpoints by funding them. The only honest competition of scientific ideas is one that is private and voluntary, where the money comes exclusively from numerous individuals, foundations, charities, universities, and businesses, each competing with their own, distinct viewpoints.
In contrast, government by its nature is monolithic because it operates by coercion. This is why any government funding of science is harmful. Getting government completely out of the business of funding science would be an application of the principle behind the First Amendment. The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”
The same principle applies here. When government funds a particular scientific viewpoint, it is *establishing* it unfairly. Therefore, it becomes an abridgement of scientific freedom, just as government funding a particular religious or ideological viewpoint is an abridgment of freedom of religion and speech.
We must separate government completely from science for the same reason we separate church from state and press from state. Don’t force our scientists to become supplicants to government bureaucrats in order to pursue truth. That will be the death of reason, science, and truth, and lead to disasters, such as misunderstanding the origins of deadly viruses. For a worst-case scenario of what happens when government funds science, consider the infamous example of “Lysenkoism,” where a government-funded viewpoint wrecked an entire scientific discipline for decades.
YouTube, Spotify, and other Big Tech platforms are taking Freedom First Network down
It’s no secret we speak our minds and bring on guests who do the same. That’s one of the biggest reasons we put together the Freedom First Network in the first place. There are far too many news outlets, including so-called “conservative” media companies, who are so beholden to Big Tech that they temper their perspectives at best and outright coverup the truth at worst. Many, as you all know, will blatantly lie in order to maintain the narrative that supports the radical agenda taking over much of the United States.
We have had our YouTube channel taken down. Many of our shows have been suppressed or removed by Facebook and Twitter. Spotify banned one of our shows completely from their platform. Google hates us. We’ve even been censored by some of the smaller players like Medium, Transistor, and Captivate. But we stand behind our reporting and perspectives and we refuse to bow down to Big Tech tyranny for the sake of pageviews or video plays.
This isn’t the easiest road to travel, especially for a media company that is so new. We launched Freedom First Network in 2020 to fight against the very censorship that we’re seeing so widespread today. We have found great homes for our content on freer speech platforms like Rumble and we’re putting our best efforts forward into building our presence on Locals. Nevertheless, we cannot do it alone. We need help.
One of the things cofounders Jeff Dornik and JD Rucker agreed to from the start was to never be the pawns of companies that do not embrace our worldview. Finding advertisers and affiliates is easy; we receive requests by companies wanting to be pushed on our shows every day. But it’s important to us that we’re promoting companies, services, and products that are beneficial to maintaining a Freedom First stance in America. As a result, we do not take on sponsors easily. We would rather rely on our own products like Freedom First Coffee and the support of our wonderful viewers, listeners, and readers.
Those who want to support us and help keep the fight for America’s future moving forward can do so by donating through our Locals page. There, you can donate monthly or one-time. Some have told us to use Patreon or GoFundMe, but both of those platforms have demonstrated a hatred for free speech. Locals does not. They embrace it. We encourage everyone to join us on Locals, but donations are greatly appreciated as well. We do not have day jobs. Our fight for freedom is a full-time gig.
Please feel free to reach out to us through our contact form. It goes directly to our founders, so if you’re interested in getting involved, investing, sponsoring, or even bringing a show to our network, let us know. May God Bless the United States of America!