Pseudo-sciences (astrology, false medicine, the paranormal, ufology, etc.) may harm the perception of science, but actually much more… naive believers.
In contrast, alterscience is a form of opposition to science (read an historical approach [in French]): individuals with scientific education use their knowledge in favour of alternative theories, of reconstruction of disciplines, with ideological or personal goals. Even when alone against the rest of the world, the alterscientist will insist that he is right; he feels a strong need of recognition (even if only by the media).
Parallel “science” should not be confused with pseudo-sciences: it is serving a political project in a predetermined manner. It aims to substitute scientists, especially for risk assessment, by mediatised “experts”, sympathetic to the political project. Parallel “science” likes to disguise itself with flattering terms such as “science in society” or “concerned” science; its self-proclaimed “experts”, often alterscientists, like to call themselves “whistle-blowers” or “independent”.
Political ecology turns to the strategy of the parallel “science” on various themes (nuclear energy, electromagnetic waves, synthetic chemistry and, of course, GMOs). A context all the more alarming as certain governments actually embrace the cause of radical anti-science ideology…
In 2008, French Minister of Ecology Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet welcomes anti-globalization activist and serial destroyer of GMO trials José Bové