Almost any conversation about politics in any country is able to develop into a real conflict between the supporters of different views. For this reason, during the current resins not accepted to talk about politics. Moreover, today, many take an apolitical stance and do not want to know anything about what is happening around. However, such passivity, along with the inability to calmly discuss such an important topic, not lead to anything good. In this article you will learn why science is inseparable from politics, and why the fate of the world actually solves a small minority.
Why science and politics — together?
Science and, in particular, the scientific method is the most objective way of revealing the true nature of things. It is thanks to science today we launch a rocket into space, treat once incurable diseases, communicate with each other while in different parts of the world and even pointless will skryim news on their gadgets. The scientific method is the gold standard of objectivity, which we synonymities words like “fair” and “rational”, separating it from our human waywardness.
The scientific method is used to minimize bias and maximize objectivity. It is logical and rational. However, scientific organizations very often pretend that science has nothing to do with the policy in any way, despite the fact that the participation in scientific research is a social and political activity. Imagine for a moment that today you have to create a new country. Some things you have to do by default, for example, to come up with new laws. But the funding of science to create the country — this is not the default position, and the decision we make as a society and continue to revise it as the adoption of new policy decisions and budget. Science has been associated with politics ever since man first thought it would be nice to conduct a study, and then convinced his neighbors to give him the money.
Moreover, research is not conducted in a vacuum, they can only occur with the permission of the society. This means that science is a de facto political institution, the controlled society and subordinate to its political will.
Society controls WHO
The decision on who exactly will be engaged in politics or science historically takes society. So, we all know that because of colour or belonging to a particular gender or race, in the past a large number of talented people were not able to do either science or policy. The bias of society, which is today a lot of writing in the world press, has put women on the path of most resistance in their quest to become a scientific and political leaders. It is a result of social control the names of outstanding scientists, such as Esther Lederberg, who discovered the bacteriophage lambda, or of Liz Meitner, which literally split the atom, was discharged from the textbooks and they had silently watch as their male colleagues received the Nobel prize.
It is necessary to remember about the ability of companies to control who can become a scientist. Even today in some countries women are denied the opportunity to engage in scientific research, not to mention the opportunity to build a political career.
Society controls HOW
There is also the question of society’s control over how happen research. The fact that scientists are also susceptible to cultural and other characteristics of society, like everyone else. And if the power in the country come maniacs or control freaks, born such a monstrous thing as Lysenkoism and the superiority of one race over another.
Not so long ago in Germany, naturalists and anthropologists believed that “science” justifies the destruction of those, who is the representative of an inferior race. In the USSR objectionable scientists pursued, and the results of scientific research destroyed. In the United States for conducting research on mind-control, knowing nothing and unsuspecting patients were given hallucinogenic drugs and harmful chemicals.
In our day, ethical and moral changes in most of the world has led to the fact that security of the person, his health and welfare are put above the search for answers to certain scientific questions. However, public memory is short-lived, and therefore modern society should strongly discourage any attempt to put pressure on scientists, preventing them to do their job and not allow public servants to classify the results of scientific research. Let me remind you that last year the Ministry of education has launched an initiative to limit the communication of Russian scientists with their foreign colleagues. Fortunately, this proposal no one had to taste, but this does not mean that threats no longer.
The society controls WHAT
Here we come to the most interesting society decides what knowledge scientists are allowed to obtain and distribute. The Vatican is known to have made Galileo into prison and forced him to recant his scientific assertions that the Earth revolves around the Sun. For this he was burned at the stake. Under Stalin, the Soviet leadership supported the pseudoscientific ideas of Trofim Lysenko, who rejected the basic principles in biology. This has led to the emergence of lysenkovshina. Today the term is used to refer to the manipulation of the scientific process to achieve ideological goals. Unfortunately, in our day Lysenkoism seems all the more relevant.
Of course, the control over what research can scientists undertake is not a mysterious phenomenon, which ended with the collapse of communism. In 2001, President Bush imposed a ban on public funding of research in the field of embryonic stem cells that stopped a potential treatment of many diseases. The US President explained the deep beliefs. In turn, the world experience shows that the more the government spends on research funding, the better the daily lives of citizens.
Today the issue of science funding is acute in the world. So, Donald trump is not seeking to Fund research in the field of climate, air and the environment because they do not believe in global warming. The President of Brazil Jaira Bolsonaro, in turn, did not care about the problems of the Amazon basin and raging forest fires, in contrast to the budget and personal finances. The Chinese government does not intend to substantially reduce the production of various goods, which millions of citizens are forced to breathe polluted air. And the Russian government continues to ignore the research that the construction of incineration plants across the country will cause development of diseases and premature deaths of a huge number of people.
Entanglement of society, politics and science
For example history has shown that society shapes politics, politics controls science, and science informs and the society and politics. This is not new information, but some of us refuse to recognize the close relationship between society, politics and science. Indeed, many scientists today do not show any political activity. However, even in the middle of the last century eminent scientists publicly expressed their opinions and took an active part in political and social issues.
Albert Einstein in 1946, in his eloquent essay “the Negro question” which he described as a “disease of white people”, told about racism in the United States. Later, during the cold war, scientists have not shied away from political activity. American Association for the advancement of science (AAAS) spoke out against the Vietnam war, and Carl Sagan talked about the dangers of nuclear proliferation in the era of Reagan. In the Soviet Union, many scientists were not afraid of persecution and repression, and openly expressed their opinions on important social and scientific issues. Today the whole world knows the names of Soviet dissidents Andrei Sakharov, Zhores Medvedev, Alexander Bolonkin, Konstantin Babitsky, and many others.
In many ways, the line between science and policy, if any existed, are already blurred. There are scientific concepts are supported by extensive factual data, which is currently an integral politicized not because of disagreements in the scientific community, but because they threaten the agenda of one of the parties. Think about climate change or the theory of evolution. Meanwhile, the scientific method is a great tool for creating verifiable information, it expands the boundaries of our knowledge and challenge preconceived notions about what reality is. Science helps us live longer, healthier and enriching life. So science is inseparable from politics and society.
Why changing the world can a small minority?
In our world nothing is permanent. So, over time changing borders and heads of state. And when it comes to the change of the political system in a country, without science you can not do. To anticipate the possible development of events, it is necessary to stock a huge array of data, analyzing and comparing specific situations to draw conclusions.
After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, Western democracies have been delighted with the global victory of liberal market systems. Decades of the cold war are gone. Dominated by the logic of markets, rights, and contracts. However, in the last decade, authoritarianism is back, as evidenced by the data of the report ‘Freedom in the World 2019. Vladimir Putin and XI Jinping has consolidated his power in Russia and China. In the former Soviet Union by the heads of state are mostly immigrants from the Soviet Politburo. Hungary, Turkey and the Philippines dealt with the opposition, as well as the leaders of Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Many countries in the middle East today is authoritarian regimes. But is it possible to resist the spread of authoritarianism, which always neglects the value of human life?
Research suggests a simple answer: the most effective opposition to authoritarianism are peaceful protests. According to the results of the work done by Erica Chenoweth of the school of public management. John F. Kennedy school of government at Harvard University and Maria Stephan from the Institute of USA, the democratic movement will be successful if the protests involved at least 3.5% of the population over a long period. When millions of civilians out on the streets, they can really change the power in the country.
During a large-scale study of Chenoweth and Stephan analyzed 323 political and social movements that have challenged repressive regimes from 1900 to 2006. It turned out, massive demonstrations are very visible, and therefore to ignore them is impossible. The protesters cooperation with universities, trade unions, media, sports teams and even the military attaches peaceful protests superhuman strength. The fact that seeing millions of people in front of him, most of the soldiers don’t want to suppress the protest, as the crowd are their family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors. The protest movement attracted the largest and most diverse segments of the population, when the protests remain non-violent, but the basic requirements are justice, democracy, absence of cruelty and corruption.