December 03, 2005
Can science survive George Bush?
From The London Times:
SCIENTISTS ARE, by and large, left-wing creatures. They opposed the Bomb. They generally oppose the destruction of habitats, which aligns them with the green movement. They have, broadly, chosen not to look at whether we are born geniuses or dunces, hippies or murderers; the spectre of genetic determinism conflicts with the cherished liberal notion that we, with the help of parents and society, shape our talents, opportunities and destinies. They believe that scientific research should be conducted for the sake of truth and the benefit of society, rather than to line the pockets of shareholders; this makes them enemies of big business. They tend to believe in evolution, which puts them at odds with the pious. They aspire above all else to objectivity, impartiality and accuracy, and they respect the power of science to overturn old orthodoxies.
Now consider this: public policy on such topics as climate change and stem-cell research requires a scientific input. In America, public policy is moulded by a conservative, industry-friendly, Christian-sympathising Republican Government. The result, Chris Mooney documents in The Republican War on Science, has been an almighty intellectual clash between scientists and politicians. Despite the sometimes crudely partisan line, he weaves a pretty convincing tapestry.
Posted by Azra Raza at 06:56 AM | Permalink
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