From: On the dangerous(?) naivete of uncritical acceptance of scientific consensus
"How do we non-experts decide when to take the pronouncements of the scientific consensus with a grain of salt? The reader may well find the following rules of thumb quite helpful. Be skeptical of scientific research, even that which supports, and is favored by apologists for, the scientific consensus, whenever:
1. the people paying for the research have a vested interest in the results.
2. vast concentrations of wealth and power hang in the balance on the results.
3. a prominent scientist's professional reputation and career is on the line.
4. the dominant paradigm is threatened."