There are currently over 7 billion people in the world today. Never before has there been this many people all needing homes, food, clothing, technology and more. This unprecedented demand for essential goods now raises supply issues. Is there enough food? Enough medicines? And if we are, are we producing them safely?
A growing global concern is how much big industry is hiding regarding the safety of all these items. Is the world getting more polluted and toxic to meet our needs? Of course, for unbiased and honest answers, it is common sense to turn to science. Science - and technically scientists - suppose to be impartial. They use the scientific method to discover evidence-based truths, right?
The role of science is to solve mysteries, highlight natural occurrences and increase our understanding of how the world works. Yet, in today's technologically advanced and social media connected world, science has come under fire. Its truths, methods and practitioners are facing increasing challenges every day.
Many big companies are negatively affected when scientific evidence expose how their products or services are dangerous and harmful. To prevent the truth from coming out, an intentional, systematic and behind-the-scenes series of attacks are currently taking place to derail science.
Big industry is fighting fire with fire, debunking legitimate science - by using science itself. To be more specific, industries and corporations are systematically producing "new evidence" to refute existing and established scientific facts. A particular example would be the drop in bee populations globally.
When bees started dying in large quantities in the early 1990s, science proved that newly developed pesticides caused it. Almost immediately, the agrochemical industries - which produce these same pesticides - began to fund numerous studies to discover other causes of bee colonies' death. The research became more intensive for non-pesticide reasons. There was suddenly so much information, so much noise, that beekeepers understood less and less of what was happening. Today, 25 years later, people are still confused.
This blurring of scientific truth - by using science - is not a new method. In the 1960s, tobacco companies funded numerous studies to prove that cigarettes did not cause cancer. Their strategy was to sow doubt towards proven scientific evidence deliberately. They were also establishing controversy to distract and confuse the public.
Big Tobacco's strategy is now the ultimate playbook. It is used time and again to "debunk" anything that might get in the way of Big Industry profits, including plastics, climate change, pesticide poisoning and now the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a winning strategy. It's working because now there is ever-growing number of people who do not believe in established science, or worse make up their own version of science, sadly amplified by social media.
Ignoring scientific truths has a human cost. Using science to undermine itself might be clever, and a means to buy time, but the truth always comes out at the end of the day. Facts will prevail.
Directed by: Pascal Vasselin, Franck Cuveillier