Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/18/leading-scientists-urge-voters-dump-trump
I retired early from my science/engineering/education/research career because of the sabotage of Republican appointees who blocked the effectiveness of much of the work of my peers, my students and myself. I was lucky to be able to walk away and feel true empathy for those who tilt against the blasphemous anti-science chorus of “business as usual”.
I wish Twain were still with us to point out the irony of Trump tweeting on a mobile phone while pushing an anti-science agenda. I can get the idea started, but Samuel Clemens would have excoriated the Orange Pustule.
To McNutt, that is all the more reason to hope that the recent spate of science activism is short-lived. “If I could do anything, I would like to unwrap science and politics as quickly as possible,” she says. “We want to just say, ‘Here’s the science. You political leaders decide.’”
Of course Marcia McNutt wants to Make American Science Great Again. Her organization, the National Academy of Sciences, reproduces and nurtures structures that entrench and enforce inequity, injustice, and oppression.
McNutt’s insinuation that Science is objective and apolitical is flat out Bullshit! Science is a human construct. Scientists research decisions are heavily influences by funding. Very little funding is available to address the needs and interests of marginalized and vulnerable communities, particularly in the Global South. Of research that is directed in those areas, it is often applied in anti-democratic manners in way that rejects input from the communities and often objectifies and dehumanizes them.
Twain might also note the hypocrisy of Democrats criticizing Trump while promoting wealth concentration and plutocracy through their embrace of the platforms that enrich Bezos, Dorsey, Pichai, Zuckerberg, et al.
McNutt’s push to ‘Make American Science Great Again’ notwithstanding, returning to the corporate / military dominated science agenda of the past is no solution to the right-wing’s anti-science agenda.
Yeah, this is misapplied science. It is very obvious when science leaks out of its primary domain. And, yes I agree science can and sometimes is manipulated to mean almost anything. Where symbolic learning differs from organic thought. If you can put some of this linear thought together, you realize it is a different part of the brain. It is like arguing that our left hand is better than our right hand.
This is why asking the right question is pretty important. Science in the name of progress has forgotten one of its most important principles.
“a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.”
Try going to the Calaveras Frog Jump, I think his ghost may still be there, visit the big trees while you are there. Take your students too.
Of course times have changes, not nearly enough in some cases. Be careful to avoid the meth heads.
Being descended from a long line of scientists (there’s a painting of my great great great grandfather hanging in the hall that shows him holding a biology text), I have inherited a tendency to at least try to base my thinking on observable evidence rather than mere blind faith. The nearest parallel I can think of to describe humanity’s present situation is that of a handful of flies on the rim of a pitcher plant . . .