30 August 2013

Has The Political Divide Become A Scientific Divide as Well??

Posted by Dan Satterfield

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I can say from my own experience that at any science meeting 20 years ago, you would run across pretty much the same mix of political beliefs as you would by taking a random poll on the street. There is little doubt that this is certainly not the case anymore. The Salt Lake Tribune has a fascinating piece on this in Thursday’s edition, and it’s well worth a read. I can attest that the 6% figure of republican scientists quoted in the Tribune piece seems about right.

Almost anyone involved in science or science communication (Including me) regularly receives emails accusing them of being politically biased (however, usually in far more illustrative language). I know of many meteorologists (and climate researchers) who believe in what many would agree are conservative principles, but no longer identify as republicans (I’ll keep my views private as always). The reason is easy to see when you consider the actions/comments of such politicians as Cuccinelli in Virginia (Who unsuccessfully tried to prosecute Dr. Michael Mann, because he thinks climate change is a hoax) and  Paul Broun in Georgia. Need I even mention Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma??

I worry about any nation where the political parties divide along educational, and or religious lines. Has this ever been the case in previous American history?? I don’t know, but I suspect not.

I actually hope it has, otherwise it does not bode well…

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