Fluvial gets political

I just read an interesting article about how some scientists (especially social scientists) are shying away from important research because of pressure and blacklisting from such instituions as the Traditional Values Coalition.  It got me thinking that it’d be interesting to study the history of taboo research.  This quote sums up my thoughts perfectly and is now a spring board for more internet research:

“… the question of people who put projects on hold is important. Epstein cited the work of Robert Proctor, a Stanford University historian of science, who studies “agnotology” — the production of ignorance, or a field to contrast with epistemology. “What we are seeing is the construction of non-knowledge,” Epstein said.

I was too young to remember the early days of HIV/AIDS which is arguably the most recent example of taboo research too important to let conservative social/legislative pressure win out but now it’s got me curious. 

Who decides (and on what moral ground) what counts as ‘Good science’ or ‘Bad science’?

The article is located here:

 http://insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2007/08/14/soc

And now for my other favorite quote of the day:

“Bow before your cephalopodic overlords, cringing humans. I give civilization maybe 15 years before the squid take over. We have no chance.”

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~ by fluvial on August 17, 2007.

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