The motto of the Royal Society was "Nullius in verba". In tutelage every boy of the elite - or who aspired to be elite - was expected to verify the Law of Gravitation himself. Same with things like axioms of Euclidian Geometry, or Archimedes’ Principle, and so on with other things that lend themselves to investigation, because it cultivates agency.
>The problem with modern [academics] is that they oscillate between two extremes, the idea of perfectly reliable knowledge, like what can be perfectly measured or derived via math, the Enlightenment way, and the idea that knowledge is impossible and it is just all social construct or something, the Hegelian or Postmodern way.
One, of course, naturally following from the other. That post-modernism is modernism; the logical conclusion of modernist epistemology applied consistently and without unprincipled exception.
In more civilized times, anyone could publish anything they liked; and if anyone saw anything they thought was interesting, they could try reproducing it; and if they could reproduce it, then that society's framework of understanding was advanced. This is a form of social technology that was called science. Such which stands in contrast with a presently regnant system called ‘peer review’.
Under this system, noone can publish, except that they be rubberstamped first by a synod of bishops, who adjudicate material in secret, on the basis of secret methods, using secret evidence, not revealed to laypersons outside of the church (ie, by fiat), whereupon it is either rejected or accepted.
If accepted, it is then entered into the canon of orthodoxy as ‘settled science’. Reproduction is not only unnecessary to this process (socially speaking, of course), for that matter, anyone that *doesn't* reproduce the ordained results may then be rejected out of hand as either a fatuous hack or a faithless heretic, for deviating from orthodoxy, and thus failing to take the bishop’s word for it.
In broad terms, developments like this are simply yet another expression of a general trend of 'priestly dominance' over a polity which is typical of societies afflicted by popular governance – more specifically, where a certain priest-like faction in particular attempts to arrogate dominion over ever inflating swaths of a society, shoehorning it’s own contingent mode of engagement into any and all other affairs, irrespective of however maladaptive it may be outside of the context it came about in (if it was ever even adaptive anywhere to begin with).