Beat Back Science Abuse

The right-wing's contempt for science will lead to economic and ecological calamity -- unless we fight back.

By Chris Mooney, AlterNet.
Posted October 10, 2005

The politicization of science presents a severe challenge to modern democratic governments, which depend on a creative tension between elected representatives on the one hand, and unelected technocratic elites on the other. While we cannot allow scientific experts to rule us directly, we nevertheless need them desperately. Our leaders simply cannot do their jobs competently without considerable reliance on expertise that they themselves do not possess. But the politicization of science -- in essence, a corruption of the communication channels between credible experts and policymakers -- weakens and ultimately destroys this necessary relationship.

The advent of the modern conservative movement, its takeover of the Republican Party, and its ultimate triumph under the administration of George W. Bush have brought us to a point where a true divorce between democratic government and technocratic expertise seems conceivable. Indeed, it appears to be actually underway. To those who understand that such a split will lead to economic, ecological, and social calamity, it presents a terrifying prospect -- and leaves us with only two options. [...] The Bush "administration" has increased the speed of global warming immeasurably, as the calamities all over the world demonstrate. The modern "know-nothings" are out in force. To read this article, go to //www.alternet.org/mediaculture/26550/

© Virginia Metze


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