The ‘fat wars’ in nutrition science and what it reveals about scientific discourse and the politics of doing scientific research
Belonging to a group is very important to people. Even people who claim to be loners and deliberately live in the most isolated locations would still belong to a family unit, a community and/or a nation. We all seek belonging be it with other people or on a more abstract level, with a school of thought or belief.
Researchers often struggle with how they are categorized by others
Researchers should be free from constraints that prevent them from the pursuit of scientific truth – this is an idea that universities all over the world like to pride themselves on. However, even the purest, most basic research is subject to pressures which are never exclusively scientific. Researchers are subject to a number of social constraints as they compete for resources, pursue careers, and network with others. In a nutshell, research is a social practice – a practice which does not only turn around ideas.
In my own career, I am often reminded of the social aspects of research when I interact with other researchers:I find it painful to be defined by a limited set of academic career parameters!