“Applying the Dunning-Kruger effect” here is appropriately comparing outward, measurable behavior with an already established cognitive bias in the field of psychology. Not “scientism.” But “scientism virtue-signaling to itself?” That would be impossible. You’re anthropomorphizing something that’s not human. Scientism is an ideology and thus, incapable of exhibiting behavior. Actual virtue signaling? A better example might be the widespread offer of people’s “thoughts and prayers” following yet another mass shooting. But pretty much otherwise, if you’re using a term like “virtue signaling,” you intend it as a slur, an attempt to stigmatize or shame people for showing morally acceptable behavior — like having empathy. (How dare we?) Using “virtue signaling” in this manner is the ultimate calling card of Trumpism.