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What to watch for when science becomes politicized [Starts With A Bang]

Thursday, December 1, 2016 9:09
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(Before It's News)

“When a scientist says something, his colleagues must ask themselves only whether it is true. When a politician says something, his colleagues must first of all ask, ‘Why does he say it?’” -Leo Szilard

There are claims flying around all the time that science is corrupt, politicized, and that the robust scientific conclusions reached about a number of issues are unreliable. Whether it’s about vaccines, HIV/AIDS, fluoride, climate change or the genetics of sexuality (or a host of other issues), you will often see the rare scientist who dissents from the mainstream highlighted along with the standard view.

A poster put up by the Fluoride Action Network, one of the most notoriously anti-science activist groups out there. Image credit: flickr user William Murphy.

A poster put up by the Fluoride Action Network, one of the most notoriously anti-science activist groups out there. Image credit: flickr user William Murphy.

First off, the presentation of two opposing viewpoints doesn’t validate the opposition viewpoint at all; you can always find a contrarian. But with the vastly different global political landscape of 2017 rapidly approaching, it’s important to vigilantly guard against what will come next: catastrophic policies based on the acceptance of the nonsense alternative to the science.

A brain science session at the 2014 AAAS meeting. Image credit: Nicky Penttila of the Dana Foundation.

A brain science session at the 2014 AAAS meeting. Image credit: Nicky Penttila of the Dana Foundation.

Scientific truths do not change with the political winds, and it’s our job as scientists, science communicators and a scientifically literate society to fight against it with everything we’ve got!



Source: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2016/12/01/what-to-watch-for-when-science-becomes-politicized/

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