This week Congress approved the budget bill that funds science research while axing dollars for social science.
Specifically political science.
The news is heart-breaking for those of us who work on the softer side of science.
It’s dumbfounding that anyone would fail to see that science is political. Or, at least, how we interpret, apply and execute science has political bends and bents.
Seems some folks in Congress think asking why people vote, for example, isn’t important.
I argue that voting is at the heart of democracy—just like our ability to access unbiased information from scientists, physicians, artists and journalists.
Political scientists study how information gets deployed.
How people become informed about democracy, government and politicians lies at the core of political science.
For example, despite the grandstanding by politicians, did you know most Americans—except the wealthiest—favor national health insurance and want to raise the minimum wage?
Cutting off funding that helps us learn how people engage in and think about their communities and government is just plain dumb.
Actually and unfortunately, it’s smart on their part. The less informed the voters are, the more likely the electorate get what they want. By not funding political science, they destroy the foundation of any opposition.
You sound cynical, like me!
Thank you for sharing. I’d be interested in hearing their rationale for cutting dollars for the social sciences in the context of the gun/mental health discussion we are now having. After all, it’s an issue about how we socialize.
My guess? Folks don’t think about the issues side-by-side. You?
You’re probably right. I tend to think that all issues are linked to each other, no matter how indirectly. Decreasing funding, i.e. data, in one, decreases insights in another.