Retooling and moving on

“So long as the tools a (scientific) paradigm supplies continue to prove capable of solving the problems it defines, science moves fastest and penetrates most deeply through confident employment of those tools. The reason is clear. As in manufacture so in science—retooling is an extravagance to be reserved for the occasion that demands it. The significance of crises is the indication they provide that an occasion for retooling has arrived.”
   — Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

 

I believe this perfectly describes what is occurring in the growing debate on vaccine science and public policy. The old paradigm is slowly collapsing under the increasingly unbearable weight of crises and demanding to be retooled. But retooling is an expensive and painful process (“extravagant”). But not retooling is infinitely more so. Better to cut our losses now and move on.
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