What Should Scientists Do When Science Gets Political?
Pielke, Roger, Jr.
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Fracking, climate change, GMOs. These are examples of scientific and technological issues that have become highly polarizing in contemporary American politics. This sets up a challenging situation for scientists and other experts. On the one hand, political conflict is the lifeblood of democratic governance. But on the other hand, political conflict can compromise effective policy making that relies on technical expertise. What roles might experts play in issues that are hyper-politicized? In this talk I’ll draw on research on science in politics as well as my own personal experiences to offer scientists some constructive alternatives for participating effectively in modern democracy while avoiding the pitfalls of politicization.