THIS JONAH GOLDBERG PIECE ON STANLEY FISH (spoiler: Goldberg doesn’t like him much) makes an interesting point:

Well, not only did the virus of postmodernism escape Fish’s lab, but he and his henchmen ground it up into fine particles and sent aerosolized packets of it to every magazine, newspaper, publishing house, and movie studio in America. Fish’s hypocrisy is stunning. The PoMo virus has infected millions, destabilizing traditional institutions across the social landscape. And yet when confronted, he says “I’m not responsible for what happens in the real world, I’m just a lab technician.” Well, this high priest of the cult of the twelve monkeys is responsible.

It occurs to me that the political and cultural thinkers have done far more harm than the scientists (Hitler wasn’t a scientist, but a failed artist; ditto much of his regime, as an excellent documentary called The Architecture of Doom explores) — but somehow the “precautionary principle” is only applied to science.