- Publicly presenting facts and reasoning
- Subjecting ideas to rigorous criticism
- Many rounds of testing to confirm or overturn theories
- Willingness to be proved wrong
However, policy-making does not take place in a scientific laboratory. But the “scientific method” we all learned in elementary school could be what we need more of in politics, i.e. a factorial basis used to inform policy views and a way to decide on a process for evaluating whether a policy has worked or failed. Policymakers are fond of imposing data-driven laws on many aspects of our daily life. So why not data-driven decisions for them? The range of issues on which science is relevant is infinite. Why should they be allowed to ignore evidence? For example, based on the work of the vast majority of climate scientists and every leading scientific organization in the world, human-caused climate change is real and dangerous. So why would appointees be considered that are not scientists who adhere to the scientific method, have humility to accept when they are wrong, and are willing to serve their country?
Our Founding Fathers saw understanding and hope in science. They even protected it in the Constitution. They hoped to have society benefit from science. Science is needed on an ongoing basis to reach the best conclusions that tested knowledge can inform.
What we are witnessing now are leaders that seem to turn their backs on using science to inform their policy views and definitely a lack of humility to accept the results. Simply calling something a hoax does not make it so. No evidence has been presented to support that view thus far. Politicians are playing games with the American public to promote what benefits them, politically and financially. At least play fair and show evidence on both sides of an issue. An informed public is an ally. Instead, we have uninformed leaders and a public responding totally based on emotion. Facts and data are needed to mediate outlandish statements and headlong rushes into disaster.
We, the public, rather than passively observing and reacting emotionally, should be demanding the back-up data of the statements and opinions being espoused by our current politicians and leaders. They demand reports and data from us. Why shouldn’t we of them?
Uninformed madness must be stopped.
What do you think?
Resource: Star-Ledger, Rush Holt, guest columnist