Why is it dangerous to politicize science?



  1. mle
    0 Votes

    Science becomes political in many ways.  

    One way, as discussed in the NY Times blog post linked below, is when scientists begin making predictions beyond their training.  In the article below, a scientist extrapolates from his finding that snow pack in California could decrease by 70-90% to the ending of agriculture and cities in California.  His findings are based on a study that can be examined and attempts can be made to replicate the study to compare findings.  But the extrapolation has no basis.

    Another way science can be politicized is through funding.  In the early 1990s I was involved with getting funding for a biochemistry lab.  The common way to get funding was to associate a study (no matter what the study was truly researching) with the hot topic of the day – in that time AIDS.  

    When an organization with an agenda funds research they are generally looking for certain results to come out of the research instead of being open to the results the study finds.  This phenomenon is discussed in more detail in the second link below.  Here is a quote from the site using the pharmaceutical industry as an example:

    “It is difficult for the researcher to remain impartial when there is pressure that is directly tied to income to produce a positive correlation between a drug and a disease. The researcher is bound to feel a certain amount of intimidation especially if there has been a long ongoing professional relationship between him and the pharmaceutical company.”

  2. 0 Votes

    Science is a field that is known for being unbiased and fact-driven. Politicizing science would skew the objectivity usually associated with science. Facts are facts, opinions should be factor too much into science or the facts will become biased and inaccurate.

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