War on science

From Issuepedia

Overview

Persistent attempts to attack and undermine the credibility of science have been coming from the Bush II administration and the American political right in general.

These attacks have been most notable in the areas of:

Usage

The war on science refers specifically to initiatives which appear to be organized and widespread; individual or unorganized attacks on science are merely anti-science.

Conclusions

Science has been attacked from both ends of the producer-consumer relationship.

On one end we have the no-nothing deniers who convince others that all medicine is invasive and harmful, or at least not to be trusted.

On the other, we have pharmaceutical companies who exploit the unthinking faith in science that many people, especially the well-educated, still have (and which many understandably dig into in the face of the no-nothing assault) by conflating "science" with "pharmaceuticals", people in lab coats or with science degrees, etc.

solutions

  1. Better citizen access to raw data, and tools for understanding that data; the open science movement should help with this
  2. An actuarial yardstick -- analogous to XKCD's radiation dosage chart, but applied to odds of various events ranging from near-certainty to near-impossibility

Related Pages

Links

Books

Filed Links

version 2

  • 2009-04-23 [Talk|Index] Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate § “a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.”
  • 2008-05-14 [Talk|Index] Yes, Virginia, There is a War on Science § [2]“Setting out to debunk the idea that there really is a "war on science" coming from the right, these writers don’t bother engaging on the facts of the case at all. They don't attempt to show that, say, conservative anti-evolutionists are right, or that conservative global warming deniers know what they're talking about. Instead, Levin and Gerson ignore, trivialize, and even mock the very serious argument that scientific information has been systematically mistreated under this administration and by the American political right. Here’s Gerson: "There are few things in American politics more irrationally ideological, more fanatically faith-based, than the accusation that Republicans are conducting a 'war on science.'" As for Levin: "Beneath these grave accusations, it turns out, are some remarkably flimsy grievances, most of which seem to amount to political disputes about policy questions in which science plays a role." .. And that’s it for these authors – rather than taking apart the "war on science" argument, they simply assert with a wave of the hand that we're all confused, that the facts of science aren't under attack from the right, it's just that disagreements have occurred over ethics and policies.”
  • 2008-01-23 [Talk|Index] Rosenhouse on ID's "Predictions" § “O'Leary's predictions, on the other hand, are exactly what we have come to expect from ID advocates - nothing but god of the gaps arguments whose only predictions are that evolution will fail to explain this or that phenomenon.”
  • 2007-06-07 [Talk|Index] America's War on Science § “The Consumer Product Safety Division has made it a point to outlaw chemicals that can be used to make illegal fireworks. Chemicals like sulfur and potassium perchlorate, that would have been standard issue in any lab experiment of yesteryear are now contraband. The CPSD, best known for its issuing of recalls for consumer goods, claims that this ban is in effect to reduce injuries from home made fireworks. The fact of the matter is that 98% of all firework related injuries are caused by off the shelf fireworks. All of this CPSD nonsense is to cut down on the other 2%.”
  • 2006-06-28 [Talk|Index] Inhofe's war on science § “Senator Inhofe ... has responded to the AP story on how top climate researchers say Gore got it right.” – and even the title is a straight lie.

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Humor

Books

reports on the war

attacks on science