It’s only been up for a few hours but my post about the political leanings of scientists (a response to Slate’s story about why we need more Republican scientists) has seen some action already. According to author Daniel Sarewitz,”This could help keep difficult problems like climate change from getting prematurely straitjacketed by ideology. A more politically diverse scientific community would, overall, support a healthier relationship between science and politics.”
I argue that while it’s a nice thought—convincing scientists (or Republicans) to compromise is not likely to happen. Faithful GMPM reader and consistently thoughtful commenter Mordicai argues that scientists shouldn’t have to compromise:
Just because there are two sides doesn’t mean that there are two equally valid sides. There won’t be Republican scientists because that party is sliding towards a religious fundamentalist viewpoint. Increasingly, in the face of any evidence to the contrary, they’ll create pseudo-scientific “institutes” to cite, but that just doesn’t cut the mustard. You can’t actually know about environmental science … and toe the Republican party line on global warming being fake. You can’t know about biological history … and oppose evolution. You just can’t.
I see what you’re saying, Mordicai. I don’t think that we need more Republican scientists. But I do think that to make any progress making our planet greener (and for the sake of science in general) we need to learn how to communicate a little better. But again, damned if I know how that’s going to happen.
Head over to the post at issue and join the discussion.