'When science mixes with politics, all we get is politics'

I just finished reading an article on the Big Think website titled "When science mixes with politics, all we get is politics," by Professor Marcelo Gleiser, theoretical physicist, Dartmouth College.  I mistakenly thought the commentary would decry the misuse of science by politicians, but no.  Instead, it decries the mistrust that we, the unwashed masses, have developed for the science establishment in recent years.  Unwittingly, the eminent professor gives us yet more reasons to regard science insiders with skepticism.

He does what so many of his colleagues do, which is to equate science itself with the institutions that purport to advance science.  To question politicized scientists, then, is supposedly unscientific.

To illustrate my personal contact with science bias, I refer to an email I sent on Feb. 3, 2021 to NASA regarding a brief article it had posted on the Space.com website.  Here is the letter with punctuation slightly adjusted:

Space dot com has been a credible source of information, because it does not reveal political bias. 

The story at, "Space Force has Biden's 'full support,' White House says" ... is a sad exception. 

It was good coverage until it said  

It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Psaki didn't have a wealth of Space Force information and ideas immediately to hand yesterday. The Biden administration is dealing with a number of pressing issues as it gets up and running, especially the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, so space issues likely aren't a big priority at the moment.

Making wordy excuses for the press rep's lack of knowledge by citing "a number of pressing issues " is disingenuous.

ALL administrations have serious pressing issues initially.  With Psaki, even supporters of the new administration have ridiculed Psaki's pronounced lack of preparedness, citing her frequent "circle back" phrase.

It would have been more forthright to simply say nothing at all about the press rep, or at most, simply saying, something like, Psaki didn't have the Space Force information at the time of the press conference.

That would have been unbiased, factual, and would not have sounded patronizing.

I hope that you are self-aware enough to recognize your own bias, and to keep it from tainting your otherwise excellent coverage in the future.  Obeisance does not become you.

—Robert Arvay

Since then, I have not seen another example of such blatant politicization on the NASA website.  Whether my email to them had anything to do with it, I will probably never know.

Censorship of actual science has been heavy-handed, both by Democrats and by their Big Tech acolytes.  Epidemiologists, virologists, and physicians who do not toe the party line regarding COVID have been intimidated and silenced.  Science that cannot be openly questioned is not science, since the heart and soul of science are to scrutinize every claim from every angle.  If we are to be told we must follow the science, then scientists must explain to us the inductive reasoning that was applied to exclude members of Congress, and their staffs, from the COVID restrictions they imposed on the rest of us.  If scientists are to decry those of us who doubt their word, then they must equally decry the policy of distributing unvaccinated, untested illegal aliens to every state, while denying entry to legal travelers.

To decry only the skeptics, while ignoring the egregious anti-science of many politicians, does nothing to engender trust in the institutions of science.  It does the opposite.

Yes, Professor, mixing science with politics does indeed result only in politics.  Thank you for being an example of that. 

Graphic credit: Marco VerchCC BY 2.0 license.

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