WILLIAM M. BRIGGS: What Happens When Research Yields Unpopular Findings.

Scientists do face enmity for their beliefs; they do endure acrimony; they do suffer ignominy—but the most vicious and wounding attacks come from fellow scientists, not civilians. Georg Cantor, anybody? Alfred Wegener? How many stories do we know of men whose work was vilified, whose livelihoods were trashed but who saw ultimate vindication (usually after death)?

Then there were the fellows whose views were wrong but who were not politely informed. They were attacked and eaten alive in academic feeding frenzies. B.F. Skinner, Emanuel Velkovski. . . .

“Psychological researchers have in no way been immune to” attacks. Now I wonder why. Frontal lobotomies ring any bells? Phrenology? Recovered memories? Life-long analysis? Drugging twelve year-old boys to make them act like five-year-old girls? Psychology has been an uninterruptible font of cockamamie theories. Why shouldn’t every new idea be greeted suspiciously? Especially when some diploma-wielding nut is dashing toward you or your issue intent on implementing his “science.”