In an earlier posting, I asked why blind testing was such a hot button for some audiophiles? As I mentioned in the HE 2005 Debate -- see http://www.stereophile.com/news/050905debate -- my skepticism about the efficacy of such tests is based both on a large amount of experience of such tests and my scientific education leading me to question the methodology adopted by so many of the published tests. By contrast, with a few notable exceptions, I have found those who respond most vocally to my criticisms and have implicit faith in blind tests have neither a scientific education nor any experience of blind testing.
I was reminded of this when, retrieving articles to post in our free on-line archives, I came across the following passage I had written years ago:
"This uncritical faith in Science is examined in Harry Collins's and Trevor Pinch's <I>The Golem</I> (Cambridge University Press, 1993). Professors Collins and Pinch look at formal scientific method as practised in a small number of classic experiments -- Michaelson & Morley's proof for the nonexistence of the ether, for example -- and conclude that "objectivity" is more intimately linked with society's and scientists' expectations and needs than is generally appreciated. They also examine the general public's flip-flopping between distrust of, and blind adulation for, Science. Regarding the latter, Collins and Pinch point out on p.143 that "It is no coincidence that those who feel most certain of their grip on scientific method have rarely worked on the frontiers of science themselves."