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current events, Politics, science

Republican Scientists (sic!)

In case you missed it, only 6% of American scientists are Republicans.  Nine percent identify as “conservative.”  Naturally, the question on every Republican’s mind these days is this:  How did the scientific community manage to get so far in the pocket of those evil communist, socialist, pinko liberal Democrats?!  How did the Democratic Machine manage to buy off not only all the scientists in America, but the rest of the peer review community the world over?

Wait…

What’s that I hear you saying?  The Republicans aren’t asking that last question?  But they certainly are wondering aloud whether or not the whole thing is a chicken or an egg.  Are scientific discoveries prone to make people become more liberal, or are liberal people commandeering the body scientific, and thus slant the whole thing dangerously to the left?

The thing is, this isn’t about America.  In the Land of the Free, the big “scientific” issues of contention are Global Warming, Evolution, Sexual Preference, and Reproduction.  But it’s not just American scientists studying these issues.  America is rather unique in the First World with regard to these subjects.  We’re just getting around to letting gays openly serve in the military.  We’re still arguing about teaching Creationism in school.  We are still arguing about whether climate change is a real phenomenon.  And we’re still getting our panties in a twist over a woman’s right to scrape a few cells out of her uterus.

If we were just talking about America, there might be a real question of cause and effect.  Who would be able to say whether the whole body of science was a leftist conspiracy to deny the obvious truths held by the Christian Republicans?  But it’s not just about America.  Scientists the world over — in communist countries, Christian countries, democracies, socialist nations, conservative regimes, liberal regimes, and everything in between all do science.  And everybody but Christian Republicans is pretty much on board with the major topics.  Climate change is real.  Evolution is obvious.  Socialized Medicine makes happier citizens.  The science is real, and everybody knows it except for one group…

The Group Without Any Scientists.

It’s about peer review all over the world.  If an American scientist does an experiment, a scientist in China can replicate it.  And one in Russia, too.  And Germany.  And Guam.  And Brazil.  And Australia.

Get it?

 

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “Republican Scientists (sic!)

  1. Republicans are all about emotion, and emotions don’t have a place in science.

    Posted by Ben Hoffman | December 18, 2010, 7:28 pm
  2. I’m not sure about the sampling in this study (and holy shit, I’m a scientist–who would have guessed that one?!). Though I haven’t gone through it with any rigor just yet, I get the feeling that they targeted academics and left out people in industry and government, which is going to raise the numbers of conservatives by a significant margin.

    Posted by Clint | December 18, 2010, 8:09 pm
  3. I don’t see the connection between scientific issues and political ones.

    Let’s define Conservative/Liberal

    Conservative: The government should exert less control over people’s lives and open up venues of services to private companies for competition

    i.e the government should have less regulations

    Liberal: The government should only allow certain private ownership and provide certain services exclusively such as education, road maintence etc….

    i.e the government should have more regulations

    Global warming: Changes to the atmosphere causing a rise in temperature are antrhopotic

    Evolution: Over time through mutations, variations, and selection species change over time

    For the life of me, I don’t see how the first two are connected to the second two.,

    Posted by cptpineapple | December 18, 2010, 8:13 pm
  4. I am with Clint. I would have liked to see a chart at the end that listed the breakdown between academics and non-academics. As it stands they selected people from AAAS who lived in the US and didn’t teach preschool-12. Additionally they polled at the end of the school year and into summer (depending on school schedule). I bet there is some bias towards college professors having more time to do something like this then your average industry scientist. I also would think there was some bias for academics being more interested in filling out this type of survey then somebody from industry.

    cptpineapple: I think you are going in the wrong direction. In this country the masses think of Republicans as defining conservative and the Democrats as defining liberal and at a national level seem largely unwilling to go beyond that. The real story is far murkier.

    Personally I see a connection between science and politics. We should have a process where we collect information and feed it into decision making. Science is a core part of that information gathering. As far as the decision making process I noticed no Mathematicians listed as taking part in the study. That is a pity.

    Posted by Michael Hunter | December 18, 2010, 9:09 pm
  5. “What the public knows
    .
    .
    Electrons are smaller than atoms (true)…. 46%”

    That is depressing.

    Posted by LM | December 19, 2010, 6:23 am
  6. I don’t see the connection between scientific issues and political ones.
    Let’s define Conservative/Liberal
    Conservative: The government should exert less control over people’s lives and open up venues of services to private companies for competition
    i.e the government should have less regulations
    Liberal: The government should only allow certain private ownership and provide certain services exclusively such as education, road maintence etc….

    Even if we say that these definitions are fine (I could agree with them), we have a problem: The Republican party in the United States does not fit the conservative description. They are interested in creating a pseudo police state that keeps the working class uniformed and/or misinformed while redistributing their money & labor to the top of the economic food chain.

    The democratic party doesn’t really fit the liberal description, either – they simply apologize for the barbarity of the Republicans, wag their fingers and otherwise just lounge around the capitol collecting an easy paycheck while shrugging and saying, “Hey, what could we do?” (there are also exceptions to the rule, like Anthony Weiner & Barney Frank).

    This isn’t really about left or right wing politics – it’s about one specific political body & affiliation that pays lip service to fanaticism and feeds off of it’s constituency’s ignorance. That’s where science, critical inquiry & skepticism – or a lack thereof – will really make or break the politics of right wing Americans in the coming years.

    Posted by Kevin R Brown | December 30, 2010, 1:24 am

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