Letter: Limits of science

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Sir: "Maverick scientists" may be usually wrong (Lewis Wolpert, 16 July)

but this does not mean that science is not adversarial. It is not just

the media which likes to portray science as so many arguments.

Some science may be consensus driven, but this is like saying cricket

is, because the players understand the conditions for one team to win.

The clearest illustration of this is the example of Stephen Hawking and

Kip Thorne, who make wagers on disputed theories.

Good science is not done by mavericks or conformists, but by those who

collate and present evidence in a way which would withstand a hostile

counsel and convince a sceptical jury.

Scientists who do not consider their case as if it was being reviewed

critically always produce bad science, as in the Pons and Fleischmann

"cold fusion" case.