Be it fracking, or GMOs, or anything else, supporting science isn’t the same as supporting big business

Royalphil.JPGReposting from The Logic of Science because we need evidence-based policies, whatever they may turn out to be, not doctrinaire decisions. And all too relevant to Scottish Government’s arbitrary and unwarranted bans on GMOs and fracking; for the latter, my Scottish friends will be interested in Prof Zoe Shipton‘s talk in Glasgow Wednesday week at the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow, open to all: http://royalphil.org/

Of course major companies have a special interest in these matters, and of course there are and should be regulatory concerns, but this is true of any large-scale productive activity whatsoever. And of course we can label polices left-wing or right-wing, and then use direction finders instead of brains, but that way disaster lies.

The gravest problems facing us now are global warming and food security. Now more than ever, we need rational debate, and evidence-based policy-making, regarding fracking, GMOs, and nuclear. Instead we have foreclosure of discussion by arbitrary blanket bans. No wonder the Scottish Government can’t find candidates for the vacant job of top scientific adviser.

The Logic of Science

Hardly a day goes by without someone accusing me of being a “shill.” You see, I have the audacity to say that we should be getting scientific information from reputable scientific sources (i.e., the peer-reviewed literature), rather than trusting blogs, conspiracy theorist websites, etc. In the minds of science deniers, however, that can only mean one thing: I have sold my soul to Monsatan/Big Pharma and am now a hired gun who roams the internet spreading propaganda. Even those who don’t go quite to that extreme often claim that I am “in love with Monsanto” or am a big supporter of pharmaceutical companies, but nothing could be further from the truth. I have never received any money from a corporation, nor do I particularly like big business. In fact, I dislike large corporations and detest many giants, such as Walmart.

So if I don’t like big business, why would…

View original post 926 more words

About Paul Braterman

Science writer, former chemistry professor; committee member British Centre for Science Education; board member and science adviser Scottish Secular Society; former member editorial board, Origins of Life, and associate, NASA Astrobiology Insitute; first popsci book, From Stars to Stalagmites 2012

Posted on September 28, 2015, in Politics, Science, Scotland and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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