Independent scientist?

British Channel 4 has  a five minutes program “4thought TV”, which consists of a monologue about a point of contention, for example whether “atheist churches” are a good thing. One of the speakers discussing whether it is ethical to eat meat was a 70-ish man described as “an independent scientist”. He was talking the usual nonsense about artificial meat grown in vitro – believable in sci-fi novels by Bujold but not in reality to anybody who knows the expense of animal cell culture. But I was more intrigued by his title, “an independent scientist”. Is there such a thing as a scientist without affiliation to a scientific institution?

Can I work as a cleaner and be an independent scientist in my heart and mind?

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