Science vs Policy

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  • #1
SixNein
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The United States government has been trying to define the role of science in policy making for years. But in recent decades, there has been a large push to separate science and policy making. Instead of creating policy based upon the best scientific evidence, the government is moving toward creating policy then find any supporting scientific evidence, and any inconvenient scientific evidence is either ignored or smeared as pseudoscience.

So I have a few questions:

Do you beleive the American government is taking a more anti-science position?

Do you agree or disagree with the government's position? Why?
 

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  • #2
Gokul43201
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The government has positions on dozens of science-related issues. Which one are you asking about?
 
  • #3
Evo
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The United States government has been trying to define the role of science in policy making for years. But in recent decades, there has been a large push to separate science and policy making. Instead of creating policy based upon the best scientific evidence, the government is moving toward creating policy then find any supporting scientific evidence, and any inconvenient scientific evidence is either ignored or smeared as pseudoscience.
Please post valid sources for this.

Thanks!
 
  • #4
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Instead of creating policy based upon the best scientific evidence, the government is moving toward creating policy then find any supporting scientific evidence, and any inconvenient scientific evidence is either ignored or smeared as pseudoscience.
Yes, this is how it's done. If science supports a policy decision, then the science is cited. If it doesn't, then the science is ignored or discrecredited. The public at large couldn't care less.

So I have a few questions:

Do you believe the American government is taking a more anti-science position?
Not necessarily. Policy has nothing to do with science. It has everything to do with maintaining a stable environment (the status quo) for those who have a lot to lose.

Do you agree or disagree with the government's position? Why?
Well, I'm not rich, so of course I disagree with the government's position. But, if I were rich, then I would agree with the government's position.
 
  • #5
Office_Shredder
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Well, I'm not rich, so of course I disagree with the government's position. But, if I were rich, then I would agree with the government's position.
This is a very simplistic and cynical approach to take. I don't think you would find many people who would agree with the government's position on anything/everything if and only if they are rich
 
  • #6
SixNein
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Please post valid sources for this.

Thanks!
I think this is common knowledge. Global warming? Evolution? Collapsing biodiversity? The list goes on and on.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v439/n7079/full/439896a.html
http://www.aaas.org/programs/centers/pe/media/20080506_times_picayune.pdf[/URL]
[URL]http://defendingscience.org/newsroom/Scientists-in-Government-Report.cfm[/URL]

There has been some progress with obama at least in words, but we will just have to wait and see if these words develop into actions.
 
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  • #7
SixNein
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Policy has nothing to do with science.
So you don't think policy should be based upon science because science is a waste of time for policy makers to consider?

Well, I'm not rich, so of course I disagree with the government's position. But, if I were rich, then I would agree with the government's position.
What if you are rich, but the government is supporting your opposition?
 
  • #8
SixNein
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The government has positions on dozens of science-related issues. Which one are you asking about?
I'm not talking about any specific issue; instead, I'm talking about the overall mood of the government. Sure, scientists may have a few allies in government, but the group of allies seems to be thin when it comes time for policy making to occur.

Here is an example, mercury levels:

"Instead, senior Bush officials suppressed and sought to manipulate government information about mercury contained in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report on children's health and the environment. As the EPA readied the report for completion in May 2002, the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) began a lengthy review of the document. In February 2003, after nine months of delay by the White House, a frustrated EPA official leaked the draft report to the Wall Street Journal, including its finding that eight percent of women between the ages of 16 and 49 have mercury levels in the blood that could lead to reduced IQ and motor skills in their offspring."

http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/mercury-emissions.html
 
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  • #9
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So you don't think policy should be based upon science because science is a waste of time for policy makers to consider?
I'd like it if policy was based on science.

What if you are rich, but the government is supporting your opposition?
Then I suppose I'd have to spend some of my riches to get them to support me instead.
 
  • #10
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This is a very simplistic and cynical approach to take.
Yes, it is.

I don't think you would find many people who would agree with the government's position on anything/everything if and only if they are rich
I agree. Being rich isn't a prerequisite for agreeing with the government's position.
 
  • #11
Gokul43201
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Well, I'm not rich, so of course I disagree with the government's position.
NOT(rich) => NOT(agreement)

Therefore, agreement => rich (i.e., if you are in agreement, you have to be rich)

Being rich isn't a prerequisite for agreeing with the government's position.
Contradiction. You've just stated above that it is a pre-requisite.
 

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