Colin McGinn is a British-born philosopher now at the Uni of Miami. He has written many books and has some stature as a public intellectual who is capable of debating a wide range of issues. A decade ago he wrote a long review of a cluster of Popper-related books for the New York Review of Books.
This would have reached a very large pool of people who take ideas seriously, discuss them, use them, and spread them. What is accepted in this cohort of people would be the conventional wisdom of the educated liberal elite in the US and beyond.
The review contains an interesting mixture of praise and misunderstanding. He wrote that Popper was one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, especially due to his admirers outside the profession, such as Helmut Schmidt of Germany, Medawar and Gombrich.
He noted that his initial philosophical impetus came from the Vienna Circle and he wrote that Ayer’s Language Truth and Logic took the ideas of the Circle to the English-speaking world in 1946. In fact that was the second of many editions, following the first which appeared in 1936. It was also the book that introduced the misleading “Popper Legend” (that Popper was a positivist) to the English-speaking world, a mistake that Ayer did not correct when the book was repeatedly reprinted.
McGinn approved of two central Popperian doctrines: first, that theories are creative products of the human mind, not derived in a mechanical way from observations and , second, that criticism is vitally important in the scientific enterprise. But he claimed that Popper exaggerated those insights and produced a distorted picture of scientific practice.
He insisted that Popper was closer to the positivists than he was prepared to admit.
He defended induction because it is deeply embedded in science and common sense.
He claimed that Popper was himself committed to inductive verification.
He disputed the notion of conjectural knowledge, because “some of science is as solid as the plainest statement of fact, such as that London is the capital of England.”
Etc. A frustrating piece!