Someone once described anyone studying consciousness as a CLM, a career limiting move, and when you think about it, it’s usually only the Nobel Prize winners like Gerry Edelman and so on, who published prolifically on consciousness and neuroscience. And I think it’s because there is a problem that the whole issue of consciousness is that it’s subjective, the quintessential feature of consciousness is, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the notion of qualia, that how you see red is not the same as what I see red and we’ll never know what the experience is of you seeing red and me seeing red.1 And given, therefore, this inescapable, ineffable subjectivity, that of course is an admit of no science, because we’re all told that science is about measuring things, about being ruthlessly objective, that if you and I did an experiment, we would record the data and get hopefully the same results. And when you write a paper, you talk about a solution was made up. You don’t say, “I made up a solution” because that sounds fishy and as though there’s been a personal element. It’s always made passive.
So, science is ruthlessly objective.2 We’re told it’s about measuring things, and you have impartial access, impartial observation, and that doesn’t really quite blend investigating something that if you agree we’ve just said is quintessentially subjective. So, that I think, is why it’s regarded in a rather weary light by many scientists.3 And in my own experience, you have to disguise studies or projects or things you want to get funding for, you have to disguise some as anesthesia or something. You can’t actually go full on and just use the dreaded C word and I think people find that unscientific, which is a rather strange notion of what science should be then, because for me it’s the most exciting question anyone can ask. And so, therefore, to say its unscientific would be, I think, saying more about the people that said it than actually being true.