Sunday, April 23, 2017

How Political Was The March For Science?

I dunno. I've been ignoring the news.
   But I'll say I'm a bit skeptical. I think that the threshold is much lower for such a march critical of a Republican administration than it is for one critical of a more liberal or progressive administration. I'm not really sure what it would take to get a bunch of scientists out against a Democrat. OTOH, of course, and crucially: the Dems haven't done the kinds of things the GOP has done with respect to global warming. OTOOH, the Obama DoJ did argue that sex is partially a matter of "gender identity"...which is frothing-at-the-mouth, insane, neo-Lysenkoist crackpottery...buuuut....it's obviously not on the scale of GOP climate denialism. But anyway, it'd obviously take an awful lot to get scientists to march against, say, the generic progressive tendency to exaggerate the importance of society/culture as opposed to biology.
   I'd also like to know what the composition of the crowd was. Here's my guess: fewer hard scientists, more engineering / public policy / public health types. (Of course there are probably just more such people in general.)
   It's a bit hard for me to believe that partisan politics wasn't a fairly significant factor in all this. And I think that the bogus pretense of political neutrality is really bad. A little of that goes a long way.
   But I'm fairly likely to be full of shit on this. This ends up being little more than a generic expression of my general position on such things, I suppose. Bill Nye figuring prominently in all this doesn't help anything. That guy is hardly a paradigm of political neutrality.

3 Comments:

Blogger Pete Mack said...

Actual scientists--and not just climatologists --are seriously pissed off about the claims of global warming as a 'hoax.' Messing with the clean water act is a big issue too. Groundwater pollution in particular is nearly irreversible. My father (a one-time Millicent Fenwick Republican--literally; I grew up in her district) will be going to his first protest *ever* next week, for the climate march. And yeah, he's a retired computer scientist.

He quit the party in disgust when Reagan championed "voodoo economics."

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say there is evidence of partisan takeover: see this Wired piece.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Aa said...

Of course partisan politics is part of it. From creationism to (as you mentioned) climate change denialism to a lack of even a basic understanding of science, or how it works. One party has truly become the enemy/antithesis of science, the Republicans (unless one of them has a disease or family member, etc). Plus it is the republicans who have repeatedly, repeatedly, slashed budget at the NIH and NSF. You cannot divorce politics from science. The actual science itself, in the lab, okay sure, the argument can be made but for funding, and how the science is interpreted, used and misused in the public arena? Nope.

3:27 PM  

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