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Old 01-08-2013, 07:06 PM  
donkhater donkhater is offline
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Good perspective on the future of Science

http://www.nature.com/news/science-m...divide-1.12119

Science must be seen to bridge the political divide

To prevent science from continuing its worrying slide towards politicization, here’s a New Year’s resolution for scientists, especially in the United States: gain the confidence of people and politicians across the political spectrum by demonstrating that science is bipartisan.

That President Barack Obama chose to mention “technology, discovery and innovation” in his passionate victory speech in November shows just how strongly science has come, over the past decade or so, to be a part of the identity of one political party, the Democrats, in the United States. The highest-profile voices in the scientific community have avidly pursued this embrace. For the third presidential election in a row, dozens of Nobel prizewinners in physics, chemistry and medicine signed a letter endorsing the Democratic candidate.

The 2012 letter argued that Obama would ensure progress on the economy, health and the environment by continuing “America’s proud legacy of discovery and invention”, and that his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, would “devastate a long tradition of support for public research and investment in science”. The signatories wrote “as winners of the Nobel Prizes in Science”, thus cleansing their endorsement of the taint of partisanship by invoking their authority as pre-eminent scientists.

But even Nobel prizewinners are citizens with political preferences. Of the 43 (out of 68) signatories on record as having made past political donations, only five had ever contributed to a Republican candidate, and none did so in the last election cycle. If the laureates are speaking on behalf of science, then science is revealing itself, like the unions, the civil service, environmentalists and tort lawyers, to be a Democratic interest, not a democratic one.

This is dangerous for science and for the nation. The claim that Republicans are anti-science is a staple of Democratic political rhetoric, but bipartisan support among politicians for national investment in science, especially basic research, is still strong. For more than 40 years, US government science spending has commanded a remarkably stable 10% of the annual expenditure for non-defence discretionary programmes. In good economic times, science budgets have gone up; in bad times, they have gone down. There have been more good times than bad, and science has prospered.

In the current period of dire fiscal stress, one way to undermine this stable funding and bipartisan support would be to convince Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, that science is a Democratic special interest.

This concern rests on clear precedent. Conservatives in the US government have long been hostile to social science, which they believe tilts towards liberal political agendas. Consequently, the social sciences have remained poorly funded and politically vulnerable, and every so often Republicans threaten to eliminate the entire National Science Foundation budget for social science.

“Politicians would find it more difficult to attack science endorsed by bipartisan groups of scientists.”

As scientists seek to provide policy-relevant knowledge on complex, interdisciplinary problems ranging from fisheries depletion and carbon emissions to obesity and natural hazards, the boundary between the natural and the social sciences has blurred more than many scientists want to acknowledge. With Republicans generally sceptical of government’s ability and authority to direct social and economic change, the enthusiasm with which leading scientists align themselves with the Democratic party can only reinforce conservative suspicions that for contentious issues such as climate change, natural-resource management and policies around reproduction, all science is social science.

The US scientific community must decide if it wants to be a Democratic interest group or if it wants to reassert its value as an independent national asset. If scientists want to claim that their recommendations are independent of their political beliefs, they ought to be able to show that those recommendations have the support of scientists with conflicting beliefs. Expert panels advising the government on politically divisive issues could strengthen their authority by demonstrating political diversity. The National Academies, as well as many government agencies, already try to balance representation from the academic, non-governmental and private sectors on many science advisory panels; it would be only a small step to be equally explicit about ideological or political diversity. Such information could be given voluntarily.

To connect scientific advice to bipartisanship would benefit political debate. Volatile issues, such as the regulation of environmental and public-health risks, often lead to accusations of ‘junk science’ from opposing sides. Politicians would find it more difficult to attack science endorsed by avowedly bipartisan groups of scientists, and more difficult to justify their policy preferences by scientific claims that were contradicted by bipartisan panels.

During the cold war, scientists from America and the Soviet Union developed lines of communication to improve the prospects for peace. Given the bitter ideological divisions in the United States today, scientists could reach across the political divide once again and set an example for all.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Not sure what that is supposed to mean. Some sort of gay marriage reference?
Ever heard of abortion?
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:45 PM   #17
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Irony
Deeper.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:46 PM   #18
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And what about social sciences? Both sides are equaly exploiting and hypocritical as they come.

Both sides champion personal freedom, supposedly, but...

One side wants to say who can get married to whom
One side wants to say what you can eat, drink

One side wants to execute criminals and protect the unborn
One side wants to protect criminals and support the killing of the unborn
Neither give a **** about the unborn
etc, etc, etc
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:47 PM   #19
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Many Rs are still rejecting evolution for ****'s sake! That the Earth is more than 10,000 years old is still up for debate! Not really a comparison.
Ever hear of the religious left in the Democrat party? I bet some of those guys reject evolution. You need to also realize there are religious people that don't think evolution conflicts with their faith since nature's god made nature's laws.

Besides how do you know how all Rs think on this? Have you taken a survey or are you just basing it on the religious right?
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:51 PM   #20
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Ever hear of the religious left in the Democrat party? I bet some of those guys reject evolution. You need to realize there are religious people that don't think evolution conflicts with their faith since nature's god made nature's laws.

Besides how do you know how all Rs think on this? Have you taken a survey or are you just basing it on the religious right?
Never said all. (This is where you would go into hysterics about lying about what was said)

I know I can't think of one leading D, or any for that matter, who question it. And I know I saw all but one of the R pres candidates question it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Never said all. (This is where you would go into hysterics about lying about what was said)

I know I can't think of one leading D, or any for that matter, who question it. And I know I saw all but one of the R pres candidates question it.
You're a flat out idiot if you think most R's think the world is only a few thousand years old
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:54 PM   #22
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Never said all. (This is where you would go into hysterics about lying about what was said)
You said many? Implying a significant amount. So who are they? Or how many is many? There are about 31 million registered Republicans.

Quote:
I know I can't think of one leading D, or any for that matter, who question it. And I know I saw all but one of the R pres candidates question it.
Presidential candidates is a teeny tiny sampling. Weak.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:54 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
You said many? Implying a significant amount. So who are they?



Presidential candidates is a teeny tiny sampling. Weak.
Not when they consider their guy to be the second coming, ironically.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:56 PM   #24
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Classic example:

R's want to use\ignore science to embrace "God"

D's want to use\ignore science to play "God"
By definition, science is the study of the natural.

By definition, God is supernatural.

Since the Venn diagram of science and God have no points of intersection, science cannot be used to prove or disprove god.

Since scientists are mortal they do not have supernatural powers and are therefor incapable of playing God regardless of claims to the contrary.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #25
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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You're a flat out idiot if you think most R's think the world is only a few thousand years old
Most? I don't know and I never said that. A lot of them do, ENOUGH of them do. Marco Rubio was afraid of giving his opinion on it because he knows that complicated scientific stuff does not appeal to R voters, who appear to be happy to remain ignorant and hostile to scientific facts. I notice you didn't mention evolution.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
By definition, science is the study of the natural.

By definition, God is supernatural.

Since the Venn diagram of science and God have no points of intersection, science cannot be used to prove or disprove god.

Since scientists are mortal they do not have supernatural powers and are therefor incapable of playing God regardless of claims to the contrary.
I think a large part of your argument is a matter of perspective to say the least.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:59 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Most? I don't know and I never said that. A lot of them do, ENOUGH of them do. Marco Rubio was afraid of giving his opinion on it because he knows that complicated scientific stuff does not appeal to R voters, who appear to be happy to remain ignorant and hostile to scientific facts. I notice you didn't mention evolution.
What about all those alleged christian Democrats that flock to church every Sunday to listen about tales they don't believe in, according to you anyway
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:00 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Most? I don't know and I never said that. A lot of them do, ENOUGH of them do. Marco Rubio was afraid of giving his opinion on it because he knows that complicated scientific stuff does not appeal to R voters, who appear to be happy to remain ignorant and hostile to scientific facts. I notice you didn't mention evolution.
What do you want me to say about evolution? It's a theory. I don't say it's correct or not correct, thus it being a theory. Your black and white take on it all shows how simple minded you are to begin with.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:00 PM   #29
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Presidential candidates is a teeny tiny sampling. Weak.
Those are the party leaders--leaders trying to appeal to the bulk of the party. Hell, they could have been lying about their personal beliefs for all I know--but they were trying to appeal to the R masses. And they know what sells and what doesn't.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:03 PM   #30
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Those are the perty leaders--leaders trying to appeal to the bulk of the party. Hell, they could have been lying about their personal beliefs for all I know--but they were trying to appeal to the R masses. And they know what sells and what doesn't.
So what you're saying then is when Obama claims to be christian he is blowing smoke up our ass?
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