Science as politics by other means

It seems like increasing numbers of scientists nowadays (especially the popular scientists) seem interested in using their credentials as scientists to push political points. For instance, many popular science blogs contain articles about trending political topics like climate-change protests or neurodiversity. The problem is, it sometimes seems like these individuals care more about pushing their political agendas than about the actual scientific basis behind their ideas. For instance, they may dismiss out of hand solutions to the problem of climate change that are not popular in "green" activist circles. They may also ignore aspects of human behavioral ecology, such as the evidence that humans are naturally tribalistic and suspicious of unfamiliar people and behaviors, to push the idea that bigotry is a conspiracy that people are simply being "taught."

What are some specific examples of this phenomenon? Are any outlets particularly known for this? On the other hand, are any outlets better than others at avoiding politics and sticking to the science?

  • A tricky subject indeed. Let's not forget that there are very few 'scientists' who can afford to self-fund their work. They have to go where the money is and quite often that means politically motivated agenda. 'Climate change' is a good example - it's a big earner! So, when questioning why some scientists appear to pushing a certain political agendum, then follow the money trail. Who or what is funding them and why? Deep research is essential. – Amyus 3 years ago
  • Amyus makes an excellent point. I would also encourage you to consider the historical reasons why some scientific issues have been "politicized" and for which agendas. How did climate change become a "political" issue, and who has benefited from it as something worth debating upon? Also, instead of comparing news outlets, which we all know have specific target audiences that they cater to, I would look to multi-agency scientific studies. – Eden 3 years ago

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