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the forces of science fight back… with an editorial

September 10, 2010

In an editorial in Nature, one of the most highly regarded scientific journals in the land, the topic of the “growing” (or in my humble opinion, more recently visible) anti-science rhetoric is addressed (read here). The editorial traces this shift to the rise of the Tea Party and associated politically conservative allies. Although much of their views are intended to demarcate themselves as fiscally and politically conservative, the language that they use, and the topics and individuals they choose to attack (e.g. global warming), is creating a very anti-science climate (no pun intended). I see this as going far beyond being a “simple” political issue, and I agree with the editorial that this denial of the value and critical importance of science is dangerous. There are far more eloquent and knowledgeable individuals out there in the internets who have examined why political conservatives take this stance, I just hope that it is not an inevitable trend and instead reflects a temporary shortsightedness on the part of some… Regardless of where one sits on the political spectrum, value should be placed in science as a way to understand the world around us (although, I fully recognize it is not the only way to reach such an understanding).

UPDATE: By the way, reading the comments for this editorial is an amusing (and very frustrating) way to spend a few moments. This is science in context at its finest.

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