Terence Kealey: The Philosophy of Science

Terence Kealey

Terence Kealey is a [very] British biochemist who has developed a intriguing sideline as an entertaining [and thought provoking] public speaker.

George Terence Evelyn Kealey (born 16 February 1952) is a British biochemist who was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, a private university in Britain.

He was appointed Professor of Clinical Biochemistry in 2011.

Prior to his tenure at Buckingham, Kealey lectured in clinical biochemistry at the University of Cambridge.

He is well known for his outspoken opposition to public funding of science.


Terence Kealey’s perspective on the Philosophy of Science is that all scientists are really post-normal advocates who ignore the falsification of their theories.

The dilemma of science is that all great scientists ignore falsification.
It is almost a definition of greatness that you ignore what others say.
You stick to your suspicions and beliefs and you seek to prove what you secretly know in advance to be true.
That is actually the nature of science.

You have to select your observations.
You have to select your theory.
And then you spend your life trying to prove it.
Which is why they say that science advances funeral by funeral because no one ever changes their mind.

Terence Kealey’s realism probably explains why science has to frequently rely upon outsiders to made a scientific advance because many disciplines form peer review clubs to protect [and promote] their treasured beliefs.

Climate Change scientists are all post-normal because all scientists have always been post-normal.
All scientists always grab a hypothesis and seek to prove it.

And peer review is merely a group of people within the same club all of whom share certain pre-assumptions and, therefore, peer review can often be very deceptive.

All scientists are advocates – they are not judges.

Terence Kealey is a strong advocate for a free market approach to science because the free market is far more successful at stimulating science [and innovation] than the state funding approach to science.

The Sources of Economic Growth in OECD Countries (2003)

The Sources of Economic Growth in OECD Countries (2003)


Terence Kealey’s belief in the free market approach to science led him to write The Economic Laws of Scientific Research.

Unfortunately, the book wasn’t very successful and only second hand copies are available via Amazon.

However, the ever resourceful Terence Kealey produced an updated version of The Economic Laws of Scientific Research [which was published in 2008 to much acclaim] with a much snappier title 🙂

Sex, Science And Profits

Sex, Science & Profits: How People Evolved to Make Money Paperback
Terence Kealey
Vintage Books – International Edition, February 2009



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