Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The Marginalization of Science
I am somewhat disturbed about the state of affairs regarding scientific progress especially as it pertains to policy making. There is an ever growing body of evidence regarding global climate change, just as an example, that represents the work of tens of thousands of scientists world wide and spans many disciplines within the scientific community. While from an outside perspective some of the research contradicts its self as predictions range from; catastrophe imminent, to something may happen in some length of time longer than the human life span.
It is this contradiction and a disproportionately small number of flawed individual data sets, that are the basis for inaction on the parts of policy makers. This is a travesty in my opinion, akin to recalling every form of paper currency because some of it might have been used for a drug deal at some time. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that much of the lobbying effort in American politics against the acceptance of anthropogenic climate change is done by people with a financial interest against the necessary measures that might attenuate its damages.
Science accepts skepticism, in fact it is one of the most fundamental components of science. A hypothesis must not only explain all relevant data and be repeatable, but also be predictive of results through experimentation. It doesn't get more skeptical than that. Imagine if you had to live up to these criteria in your daily life, imagine having to prove that the federal government still guarantees your ten dollar bill for all goods and services, public and private, every time you wanted to buy a cup of coffee.
Bottom line, the people who are in the only place to effect real change on matters of science are often giving equal weight to arguments from those with a obviously vested interest against experts who have developed a truly remarkable body of evidence.
I welcome your comments or questions in the comment section below or on twitter @marcqmindaccess.