venerdì 12 giugno 2009

Science and Political Interferences

It is well-known that scientific results can be manipulated, abused, eliminated or distorted for political purposes. Scientific research in this way can be used as a tool to induce panics and anxiety at societal level, direct public opinion, support or hamper the development of given economic sectors. One can cite many examples: contrasting news on global warming (it is real or not?), epidemic diseases (are they real menaces or not?), acceptability of toxic substances assumption (they can vary according to unclear circumstances), etc.

In several occasions we have to cope with an asymmetrical and unbalanced information relation as well as an information overload or an excess of information which finally confuse public opinion making extremely difficult (or impossible) to have a clear, critical and aware idea about these topics.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has created a A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science: this is an extremely long list of cases where political interferences have been reported and documented. This list is so long that it has been necessary to develop a Periodic Table to resume these cases and offer an overview of the issue.

Surely there is a lot to think about above all our vulnerability and weakness towards those controlling media...

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