The old saying goes that “all science is political”, a saying that is true only if you stretch the meaning of either “science” or “political”. I’m baffled, for instance, to understand how my work on the genetics of hybrid sterility in Drosophila is political. But don’t worry: the ideologues will find a way to make it so. “You’re doing your work in the milieu of a culture,” they’ll babble, “and decisions about what to fund and publish are explicitly political.” Blah blah blah.JERRY COYNE, “SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN GOES DEFENSIVE; TRIES TO PRETEND THAT EVERY SOCIAL JUSTICE SCREED IS A “SCIENCE STORY”” AT WHY EVOLUTION IS TRUE (NOVEMBER 10, 2022)
Okay, Here’s Another One
Consider this recent front-page New York Times story: “He’s an Outspoken Defender of Meat. Industry Funds His Research, Files Show.” The exposé targeted Dr. Frank Mitloehner, an air-quality specialist at the University of California, Davis. Never mind his position at a respected research institution and stellar publication record; the Times wants you to know that Mitloehner’s work is funded by “farming interests” trying to deflect blame for climate change:
“According to internal University of California documents reviewed by the New York Times, Dr. Mitloehner’s academic group, the Clear Center at UC Davis, receives almost all its funding from industry donations and coordinates with a major livestock lobby group on messaging campaigns.”
There’s no need to refute the story’s allegations; that’s already been done. The Clear Center has always disclosed its industry funding. Mitloehner has also responded to the story, explaining that his research team uses the grant money to devise solutions that help “reduce the environmental footprint of animal agriculture.” We’ve discussed some of this impressive work in recent articles. Other scientists have pointed out that none of the Clear Center’s work deviates from the scientific consensus on climate change.CAMERON ENGLISH, “NYT ATTACKS GREAT SCIENTIST, FURTHER TANKS ITS CREDIBILITY ” AT AMERICAN COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND HEALTH(NOVEMBER 7, 2022)
Industry funds most science research, as English goes on to point out. The alternative would be that government funds all science research and you pay for it via your taxes.
Some Political Issues There?
While we are here, emerging out of the COVID years, premier science journal Nature is now telling us that “Health policymakers need to cultivate social trust and plan effective communication strategies well before the next infectious disease goes global.”
Wait. What? More propaganda? Why not make correct information the next big priority instead? One that is not marred by professionals getting kicked off social media merely for a dissenting opinion?
Read the rest at Mind Matters News, published by Discovery Institute’s Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.