In the 20th century “science” was without doubt incredibly successful. Everything from microchips to antibiotics. As a result “science” became a reputable brand giving authority to those who called themselves “scientists”. It was such a great brand that everyone with any cause wanted to adopt it to boost their credentials, but at first it had certain standards: proof via evidence from experimentation. Asserting only what can be proven from the facts (not opinion polls).
But then certain subjects began running out of things to research. Once you’ve studied the life cycle of the lesser spotted goat-toad, you don’t need to do a second study. Once you’ve got a figure for growth rates of tropical plants, you don’t need to go back to do a second study. And sooner or later, despite the huge wealth of material to research, the areas of new research begin to run out.
And then along came “global warming” or “climate change”. Suddenly, you could begin to repeat all the research. Not: “the lifecycle of the lesser spotted goat-toad”, but “the effect of climate change on the lifecycle of the less spotted goat-toad”. So, the last thing anyone in the science community wanted to do was to undermine the goose that laid the golden egg. They knew climate “science” wasn’t exactly hard science, but what did they care so long as the grants kept coming in?
Then along came climategate: they had to decide whether they were going to protect the integrity of the brand, or protect their cash cow. And they decided to follow the line that: “(the appalling standards of) climate ‘science’ are not reprehensible within science”. So, now we’ve reached a situation that “science” as a brand has become so diluted, that it is practically meaningless. The test is now: “did they lie” or even: “can anyone prove they lied”. Of course the brand is still protected by the old-boy network that controls it, so not everyone can say they are “part of the club”, but as a brand it is meaningless.
After climategate, there is no more reason to believe a “scientists” than e.g. a political “scientists” or an economist or even a politician. They can all use maths they can all plot graphs and they can all make unfounded assertions. “Science” is no longer a brand that bestows any greater degree of trust than any other group of people. In it’s attempt to cover every subject irrespective of whether they used the scientific methodology it has undermined every subject irrespective of whether that subject maintains a rigorous application of the scientific methodology or not.