Tag Archives: Autonomy

How objective are scientists about their research, given their political views?

Hot Air linked to this Pew Research poll about the beliefs and attitudes of researchers in the scientific fields.

Excerpt:

More than half of the scientists surveyed (55%) say they are Democrats, compared with 35% of the public. Fully 52% of the scientists call themselves liberals; among the public, just 20% describe themselves as liberals. Many of the scientists surveyed mentioned in their open-ended comments that they were optimistic about the Obama administration’s likely impact on science.

For its part, the public does not perceive scientists as a particularly liberal group. When asked whether they think of scientists as liberal, conservative or neither in particular, nearly two-thirds (64%) choose the latter option. Just 20% say they think of scientists as politically liberal. However, a majority of scientists (56%) do see members of their profession as liberal.

Most scientists had heard at least a little about claims that government scientists were not allowed to report research findings that conflicted with the Bush administration’s point of view. And the vast majority (77%) says that these claims are true. By contrast, these claims barely registered with the public – more than half heard nothing at all about this issue. Only about a quarter of the public (28%) said they thought the claims were true.

Both scientists and the public overwhelmingly say it is appropriate for scientists to become active in political debates about such issues as nuclear power or stem cell research. Virtually all scientists (97%) endorse their participation in debates about these issues, while 76% of the public agrees.

I think it helps to make the point I was making earlier about the fraudulent science used to support global warming and Darwinian evolution. Many scientists have an agenda. They get paid by the government. The bigger government is, the better they get paid. Therefore, many are Democrats. Scientists tend to be biased in favor of material entities and explanations. Morality is non-material. Scientists therefore tend to resent the idea that moral claims are knowledge. They prefer to have autonomy from non-material moral rules. Therefore, many are atheists.

There are some dissenters of course. But these are rare.