In the November 2 issue of Science, Mary Claire King, president of the American Society of Human Genetics wanders into Egyptian politics but what she says has implications for how scientists need to confront those who are peddling follishness. Prof. King describes the reporting of an Egyptian graduate student Mona Seif, from Ta hir Square. Seif, when asked about her science and her activism described how both
are very time consuming, time and energy and emotions. And I'm only beginning to get a handle of doing both at the same time and juggling between my activism and my work.The response from Mary Claire King was heartfelt
Mona Seif's story illustrates for me the essence of the scietist as a citizen of the world. Scientists insist on believable data both in work and in public life. Bright young scientists do not accept nonsense from those in power, and they will not be eternally patient with those responsible for it. The response of the scientist to nonsense is both conceptual and practical: to recognize it, to expose it and to try and fix it. And because scientists are connected through worldwide networks we can stimulate each other to do the same.Perhaps not only the young, but ostriching into the laboratory is no longer a viable way of doing science, nor is putting silently up with those who spew nonsense.