Does Science Need More Republicans?

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Thanks to the President’s appearance on Mythbusters, Slate’s Daniel Sarewitz looked into a year and a half old survey from the Pew Research Center on the public’s perceptions of science and scientists and social perceptions of the science community.

The survey spends a few pages dissecting the general politics of scientists and finds (SHOCKING… wait for it) that a meager 6% of those surveyed identify as Republicans. The majority identify as Democrats (55%) and the rest independents (32%). For Sarewitz, this is a problem. I would also postulate that if this story gains more traction, some conservative commentators will have more fuel for conspiracy theories that science is biased against “main street America.”

Plenty of commenters and others have pointed out the obvious – it’s pretty difficult to reconcile conservative ideologies, which have been openly hostile to science for more than a decade – with science. For example:

  • The right wing’s penchant for picking fights over whether or not evolution exists. According to the Pew survey, 97% of scientists believe humans evolved over time, whereas 39% of the public surveyed who identified as republicans believe life always existed in its present form.
  • Republicans have spent years attempting to discredit global warming. 94% of scientists believe the Earth is warming and 70% believe that’s a serious problem.
  • While some notable republicans have been in favor of stem cell research, 93% of scientists are in favor of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
  • Finally, as Kevin Drum from Mother Jones points out – republicans generally gravitate towards the business world. It’s not often we see a room of scientists sucking down cocktails at an expensive lunch or regularly crashing in 5 star hotels to sleep off a hectic business dinner. In fact, just 4% of scientists in the survey said that a “financially rewarding career” was very important in their choice to pursue a scientific field.

Read the full post at Diatribe Media

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  • Andrew

    No, the Republicans need more science.

  • Andrew

    No, the Republicans need more science.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I liked the article. Brings up valid questions.

    But sometimes I wonder if it’s not a little like asking for more Blonde Redheads–mutually exclusive ideas.

    I’m not saying that each and every Republican is a featherhead–only the vast majority of them. No, there are a very small number of amoral persons with high levels of animal cunning. Which is different than intelligence per se, I think.

    The problem is that those people moral deficient enough, with competent foreknowlege, to actually identify as Republicans use their animal cunning to defraud the social contract instead of working to actually make the world a better place.

    Science has very little political game value.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I liked the article. Brings up valid questions.

    But sometimes I wonder if it’s not a little like asking for more Blonde Redheads–mutually exclusive ideas.

    I’m not saying that each and every Republican is a featherhead–only the vast majority of them. No, there are a very small number of amoral persons with high levels of animal cunning. Which is different than intelligence per se, I think.

    The problem is that those people moral deficient enough, with competent foreknowlege, to actually identify as Republicans use their animal cunning to defraud the social contract instead of working to actually make the world a better place.

    Science has very little political game value.

  • Hadrian999

    there has been a clear trend in the republican party to paint all science(weapons development aside) as an evil liberal assault on god, you can see it all the time between painting people in cities as unamerican compared to “real americans” in the heartland,schools are portrayed as democratic reeducation camps, more republicans in science is a scary thought

  • Hadrian999

    there has been a clear trend in the republican party to paint all science(weapons development aside) as an evil liberal assault on god, you can see it all the time between painting people in cities as unamerican compared to “real americans” in the heartland,schools are portrayed as democratic reeducation camps, more republicans in science is a scary thought

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Good points.

      Republicans must really think God is a whimp if they need to do all the defending for him. If He or She were truly such a literally personal being as they seem to believe, He or She should be able to come forward Him or Herself and make the case.

      This is yet another illustration of a very peculiar syndrom. Someone recently posted an article by John Cassidy that pointed out how financial industry ‘experts’ seem to know exhibit shocking levels of ignorance about their own specialty. It’s like the amount of focus they apply to their trade blinds them to the wider social context.

      I don’t figure a fella can have an appropriate appreciation for either science or spirituality without having some minimal respect for both. They’re unavoidable complements to one another.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Good points.

    Republicans must really think God is a whimp if they need to do all the defending for him. If He or She were truly such a literally personal being as they seem to believe, He or She should be able to come forward Him or Herself and make the case.

    This is yet another illustration of a very peculiar syndrom. Someone recently posted an article by John Cassidy that pointed out how financial industry ‘experts’ seem to know exhibit shocking levels of ignorance about their own specialty. It’s like the amount of focus they apply to their trade blinds them to the wider social context.

    I don’t figure a fella can have an appropriate appreciation for either science or spirituality without having some minimal respect for both. They’re unavoidable complements to one another.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Good points.

    Republicans must really think God is a whimp if they need to do all the defending for him. If He or She were truly such a literally personal being as they seem to believe, He or She should be able to come forward Him or Herself and make the case.

    This is yet another illustration of a very peculiar syndrom. Someone recently posted an article by John Cassidy that pointed out how financial industry ‘experts’ seem to know exhibit shocking levels of ignorance about their own specialty. It’s like the amount of focus they apply to their trade blinds them to the wider social context.

    I don’t figure a fella can have an appropriate appreciation for either science or spirituality without having some minimal respect for both. They’re unavoidable complements to one another.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Warning for Republicans: Intellectual discipline and rigor required…do not attempt to use this product (Science) if your ideology is central to your worldview and emotional security…as both may shatter if exposed to sudden and completely unvarnished truth.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Warning for Republicans: Intellectual discipline and rigor required…do not attempt to use this product (Science) if your ideology is central to your worldview and emotional security…as both may shatter if exposed to sudden and completely unvarnished truth.

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