01 May Really? Science!
Science is democracies last bastion. Science is a domain that helps us understand everything in our world and why we and our world work the way we do. Without science our fundamental understanding of our world, our existence, and everything in it would not exist and we would not be able to progress as a society and a species. So the fundamental, broad-based attack on science from any political movement in any country is totally reprehensible.
Throughout history, dictators have attempted to either relegate the role of science or alter the nature of science to suit their own specific authoritarian interests. It used to be that we looked on these historical phenomena with a wry sense of humor because they were so ridiculous as to almost not warrant comment; and also because most of them occurred in the past when the world itself was much less enlightened and much less connected.
As much as science is revered throughout the world America has always had a particular and unusual relationship with science. On the one hand, Americans historically have tended to be suspicious, guarded, individualistic and non-trusting in their attitude towards science. At the same time, many of the greatest scientific advances and achievements in the history of man have been made by and have come from Americans. It’s an interesting paradox that against that background America has produced many of the world’s greatest scientists and much of the world’s great scientific research.
Thus, it is truly shocking and reprehensible to see a movement in this country that rejects science on the basis of a political agenda. But that’s where we are today. The facts speak for themselves. Science, the pursuit of scientific knowledge, and the value of scientific advancement and understanding has already been deeply, perhaps mortally wounded in this country. We can only hope that, like many viruses, this political cancer which has attacked science will eventually be eradicated in our lifetime.