Immanuel Velikovsky died in 1979. The following passage is from his book Mankind in Amnesia, published in 1982. I found it, like him, profoundly insightful. He describes a situation that has not changed in the intervening years. It is, in fact, much, much worse. We are surrounded not just by stagnated and bureaucratic science, but with corrupt science. Warm your globe on that.
Evaluating new scientific theories presents problems for the power structure within the scientific establishment, with a few hierarchs clamping lids tightly over the jugs of ferment and inquiry; the scientific press serving a policy of keeping the general public and even the scientific community in ignorance of the interdisciplinary significance of newly discovered facts; the chorus of grant distributors and grant recipients, the self-perpetuating upper crust, living off science and honoring its great ones by naming college buildings and institutions after them; the students who sense that they are distracting their professors from “projects” and from soliciting funds, and from writing the reports on funds spent and more needed; the teachers in the humanities – C.P. Snow’s “other culture” – envious of scientists and straining their brains for ways to formulate a fat project with a meager idea; “thinkers” scurrying from coast-to-coast and from foundation to foundation; the retreat of brains from teaching to industry; publication of half a million “scientific” papers each year, most of them intended to justify grants and promote promotion. Boards of trustees, themselves a crop of prep-school alumni, Sundays in pews, Mondays to Fridays on direct lines to Wall Street, appoint chancellors and Dean’s and disappoint all others.
In all this pandemonium, two or 3 million students in the United States alone, many of them burdening family resources to gain the benefits of higher education, are told to write weekly papers, to submit mechanically to written examinations, and to keep up their grades. Helplessly caught up in the stream, losing individuality, they are molded into report writers and graded punch cards, with the ultimate prospect of cap, gown, diploma and all, and a license to enter the race, but only at a pace lower than that of the instructors themselves trotting behind those who precede them in the procession.
How not to rebel? (Page 151)