An alternative title for this blog post I almost used: Stupid Slate article of the week.
In this piece, Daniel Sarewitz concern trolls the institution of science because we overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Now, one thing I will grant – which is not explicitly stated in the article – is that it is important for the public to imagine that we are politically neutral, even if we are not. In fact, that is exactly what has happened. In this regard I think science is like the Supreme Court in particular and the judicial system in general. The courts are completely politically and/or ideologically motivated. But public polls continue to show the courts and the scientific community among the two most trusted institutions in the country (as opposed to the media and Congress). If the public ever knew the truth about either, that would probably change, and mostly that would have bad consequences.
Now, all that being said, Sarewitz concern trolls mostly about climate change. He’s missing the forest for the trees. This is mostly about religion. The most religious voters tend to vote Republican. The least religious don’t. Scientists are among the least religious groups you will find. And everything flows from that. Republican voters tend to think evolution is a lie. Scientists, uh, don’t. Republican voters tend to think research into stem cells shouldn’t be permitted. Scientists, again, obviously, don’t. This really isn’t that confusing.