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Making Science Political.

18 Feb 2017, 14:21 UTC
Making Science Political.
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“Keep science out of politics.”This is the refrain I’ve been hearing a lot recently, both from scientists and non-scientists. On April 22, 2017, scientists and science-lovers around the country are planning a March for Science in DC and around the the world (including here in New Jersey), to protest the silencing of government scientists, the removal of scientific input into the political decision-making process, the impact of travel and immigration restrictions on the scientific and student community, and to bring attention to the climate change crisis. Given that one party has been pushing these policies (or, in the case of climate change, has been pushing to avoid setting any policy that could address the problem), this march inevitably has become embroiled in partisan politics. This has opened a serious and important debate among scientists about the propriety and sense of marching as scientists, for political goals. Shouldn’t we keep politics out of science, and by extension, science out of politics?I have my answer to that question, and to explain it, I want to look at the question “Is science political?”The answer, obviously, is yes: science is political. At least, if you think of science not as “a collection of facts ...

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