The Fight to Make Science Apolitical

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This image recorded by the Hubble telescope on July 10, 2001 shows two clusters of stars, called NGC 1850, located in a neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. (NASA/Getty)

Brian Cox, a leading British physicist and science broadcaster on the BBC, says scientists need to realize that if they don't step up like Galileo to argue against distortion and myth they will lose the war for truth—even if they win the battle of being correct.

"The big decisions that we face now as a civilization have scientific answers—be it questions about climate change or energy provisions—all of those things require scientific answers," says Professor Cox. "We're trying to understand the natural world and the world that is out there—that has nothing to do with whether you're a Democrat or a Republican."

Professor Cox joins The Takeaway to explain why it is so important to make science apolitical. 

Guests:

Brian Cox

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [6]

Ed from Larchmont

Science will always remain political because it requires money, funding, which society has to allocate, so it should be political there.

About Galileo, I think it's an incorrect reference, though popularly believed. Pope Urban accepted Copernicus' hypothesis, and would have accepted Galileo's hypothesis, but Galileo said that he had proven that the earth goes around the sun. Pope Urban, a pretty good amateur mathematician, said that he hadn't proven it, and that he had to present it as a hypothesis, which he refused to do.

Current research has shown that Pope Urban was right, Galileo's conclusion was right, but they didn't have the means then to prove it. It was slightly more elegant mathematically, but that's not a proof.

The Church isn't wedded to any specific scientific theory, so the Church wasn't against the Copernican hypothesis, except to the extent that Aristotelian physics was the current world view and one had to be certain before changing it.

Dec. 19 2013 08:29 AM
Bkey Bauer from Venus

Brian Cox!
Here! Hear!

As an animal behaviorist and a biochemist that slathered hormones on embryonic chicken tissue, I discover your report unbelievably true.
Once the infinite and finite amount of knowns and unknowns are collectively
gathered, we can sustain in the name of World Peace and survival through keen adaptation

OR

PERISH.

Gather all ye Star Children! Make it so! We came to watch while we saved.
Be Here Now

(Full Time Buddhist Nun for World Peace! All is free like the air you breathe! An Avatar Muse... The avatarmuse...)

Be the change you wish to see! Welcome! HOLD EVERYTHING IN THE SPACE OF LOVE & COMPASSION AT ALL TIMES! BE AN ASTROPHYSICIST! The stars really do hold hands through the filaments! Check it out! You will be amazed!

Heal the World. She is OUR Mother.
Love and Here's The Peace,
-Bkey

Dec. 18 2013 03:19 PM
Bkey Bauer from Venus

Brian Cox!
Here! Hear!

As an animal behaviorist and a biochemist that slathered hormones on embryonic chicken tissue, I discover your report unbelievably true.
Once the infinite and finite amount of knowns and unknowns are collectively
gathered, we can sustain in the name of World Peace and survival through keen adaptation

OR

PERISH.

Gather all ye Star Children! Make it so! We came to watch while we saved.
Be Here Now

.avatarmuse.
.museavatar.
Full Time Buddhist Nun for World Peace! All is free like the air you breathe!

Be the change you wish to see! Welcome! HOLD EVERYTHING IN THE SPACE OF LOVE & COMPASSION AT ALL TIMES!

Heal the World. She is OUR Mother.
Love and Here's The Peace,
-Bkey

Dec. 18 2013 03:13 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Scientists need to believe that no matter how rational and logical their equations are, man is mostly irrational. Isn't that how Psychology was invented? The science of irrational man.

If Scientists can truly embrace their own primitive supernatural instincts, their science will pop some unusual startling answers,(and at this point of our technological advances, what choice do we have.

I see in our future a computer screen we all chant on at the same time, some looking for answers, others giving up.

Dec. 18 2013 01:58 PM
John B from San Antonio, TX

I am a spiritual, if not especially religious person, and I have come to feel more strongly over the years that there is only one way to really know who God is and how he/she/it affects us in our daily lives. My reasoning, in a nutshell, is this: If God did indeed have a hand in the creation of the Universe, the evidence of that creation is all around us and can only be discovered by a better understanding of how the universe works. And that understanding can only be obtained through an unbiased, critical examination of the evidence...in other words Science and a proper application of the scientific method.

Dec. 18 2013 12:55 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.


Science will always be a political issue, because many men are dumb and not looking for rational explanations of the world.

Unfortunately, Science will remain a political issue because the more rational,technological, and scientific man becomes, the more impulsive he is to return to his primitive urge for supernatural beliefs.. that's why movies like Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings,and Vampires are so popular and religious banter accepted as gospel truth by others.

I am not saying anything new, just ask Galileo.

The faster Scientists understand this inherent impulse, the more they will be able to protect themselves from harm.

Dec. 18 2013 11:25 AM

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