When science is done with integrity, those in power won’t want it done at all. E pur si muove. And yet, it moves. Attributed to Galileo after being forced to recant his theory the earth orbits the sun. The singular idea that the protestations of popes and inquisitors, the insistence of authoritarians does not change an objective reality.
Over the past six days I’ve seen a series of memes, readers of post-apocalyptic novels surprised scientists are the first to lead the real-world charge. My reaction was it makes complete sense. Copernicus, Galileo, Carson- the history of science is littered with stories of men and women willing to risk careers and lives in the pursuit of truth. The architecture of science is designed to gather and debate facts and evidence in the service of understanding our world. And irrespective of your place on the political spectrum, science is the best tool we’ve ever developed to explore and explain the universe around us.
It should go without saying informed policy requires information. If scientific study and their results are silenced, then we cannot craft effective policy. That’s the scary thing.