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Art Man

Political Lean of Scientists

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Posted (edited)

I would say that you don't need to be a genius to see that most scientists are leftists and somewhat socialist. This poll conducted in 2009 says

Quote

No, this is not the punch line of a joke. A Pew Research Center Poll from July 2009 showed that only around 6 percent of U.S. scientists are Republicans; 55 percent are Democrats, 32 percent are independent, and the rest “don’t know” their affiliation.

Lab Politics: Most scientists in this country are Democrats.

Those numbers probably haven't changed much in these past 10 years since. The reason for this political lopsidedness among scientists comes from the diversity of the scientific professions. For science to advance quickly we need international cooperation and an open forum for the knowledge gained in lab studies and field research. There's been a real hard push lately to make all scientific papers available in a sort of Google-type system internationally (see Plan S) and that sort of thing is a very leftist agenda.

Republicans aren't well suited for public science because of it's openness. You aren't going to find Republican scientists at NASA or at the science fair getting to know the crowd. If you're looking for Republican scientists try the billionaire oil rigs, the arms dealers, try the tool companies or vehicle manufacturers. Republican scientists are going to work for the private sector and not spend their time socializing and making themselves available for surveys. You're going to find Republican scientists quietly gravitate towards the less social demanding higher paying jobs, jobs with little recognition and higher tech demand such as engineering jobs or resource gathering jobs.

While a Democrat would love the glory of landing on the moon, a Republican would rather mine an asteroid and become a trillionaire.

Any thoughts on science and politics? Specifically, why you think that Republicans make such a low percentage of the survey sample and do you think that sample is accurate and do you think it has changed much in 10 years? Also, why do you think Republican candidates often target science in their hostilities at the soap box?

I think Republicans should take science and scientists more seriously.

 

Edited by Art Man

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Posted (edited)

It’s not scientists that lean left. It’s critical thinkers and those willing to challenge established orthodoxy. It just so happens that critical thinkers and orthodoxy challengers tend more often to become scientists than do people who prefer status quo’s and who resist change. 

25 minutes ago, Art Man said:

There's been a real hard push lately to make all scientific papers available in a sort of Google-type system internationally (see Plan S) and that sort of thing is a very leftist agenda.

Why is this “leftist?” What does “leftist” even mean?

A desire for transparency and openness to information doesn’t have to be partisan unless one side is actively trying to hide something. 

25 minutes ago, Art Man said:

You're going to find Republican scientists quietly gravitate towards the less social demanding higher paying jobs, jobs with little recognition and higher tech demand such as engineering jobs or resource gathering jobs.

This is an interesting opinion that you’ve pulled out of your ass and are presenting as fact. Do you have any evidence in support of this silliness?

That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. 

Edited by iNow

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, iNow said:

Why is this “leftist?” What does “leftist” even mean?

At the most extreme example, a leftist is communist and a rightist is a king.

Denying scientists freedom of press to publish their papers as they see fit and forcing it all into a universally available database is very communist (left).

Edited by Art Man

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I can tell already this is no longer a thread I wish to engage with. Thanks for your reply. 

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5 minutes ago, iNow said:

I can tell already this is no longer a thread I wish to engage with. Thanks for your reply. 

What about this topic turns you away?

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

Why is this “leftist?” What does “leftist” even mean?

Well it definitely doesn't mean what it meant even 10 years ago let alone 50 years ago.

It seems that the extremes of both political persuasions are now considered mainstream.

https://youtu.be/hUBAx8jbYNs

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Hmm.... Monty Python. I didn't understand their humour. 

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6 hours ago, Art Man said:

Denying scientists freedom of press to publish their papers as they see fit and forcing it all into a universally available database is very communist (left).

That isn't a left or right thing. Both extreme right and extreme left governments or dictators are likely to try and control what is said and thought.

7 hours ago, Art Man said:

Republicans aren't well suited for public science because of it's openness. You aren't going to find Republican scientists at NASA or at the science fair getting to know the crowd. If you're looking for Republican scientists try the billionaire oil rigs, the arms dealers, try the tool companies or vehicle manufacturers. Republican scientists are going to work for the private sector and not spend their time socializing and making themselves available for surveys. You're going to find Republican scientists quietly gravitate towards the less social demanding higher paying jobs, jobs with little recognition and higher tech demand such as engineering jobs or resource gathering jobs

Any evidence for that bizarre fantasy?

7 hours ago, Art Man said:

I think Republicans should take science and scientists more seriously.

I think everyone does. They seem more interested in hanging on to the past and their money.

It has never made sense to me that the political philosophy that is supposedly based on business and capitalism, doesn't understand the idea of managing resource, for example. They should be the first ones to worry about pollution (because it could affect the quality of their products and therefore profits) or running out of oil, or climate change.

Instead they prefer to deny these things happen, then claim it doesn't matter and, finally, when it is almost too late agree to do something.

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7 hours ago, Art Man said:

The reason for this political lopsidedness among scientists comes from the diversity of the scientific professions.

No.

It comes from the fact that science needs cooperation and critical thought which are both anathema to the republicans.

7 hours ago, Art Man said:

Denying scientists freedom of press to publish their papers as they see fit...

is exactly what the previous system did. It forced them to publish in expensive journals which people couldn't afford to read.

The current move to making everything available makes sense both from the perspective of the scientist who enjoys a large audience and from the taxpayers who paid for he work and are now better able to benefit from it.

 

7 hours ago, Art Man said:

You're going to find Republican scientists quietly gravitate towards the less social demanding higher paying jobs, jobs with little recognition and higher tech demand such as engineering jobs or resource gathering jobs.

That unevinced assertion may be true, or it may no.

 

However, it's stupid to imagine that the people who compiled the original survey did it at cocktail parties or bars.

They will have taken the trouble to get a representative sample of scientists and they found that nearly all of them are more Left than Right.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, Strange said:

It has never made sense to me that the political philosophy that is supposedly based on business and capitalism, doesn't understand the idea of managing resource, for example. They should be the first ones to worry about pollution (because it could affect the quality of their products and therefore profits) or running out of oil, or climate change.

Instead they prefer to deny these things happen, then claim it doesn't matter and, finally, when it is almost too late agree to do something.

And that something is almost never enough, if they can kick the can down the road, they will.

Edited by dimreepr

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8 hours ago, Art Man said:

Any thoughts on science and politics?

Well first thoughts on your thread.

I respectfully suggest you narrow the focus down some. As it stands the subject is enormous - far too big and diverse for one thread.

You have concentrated on the Americans, but say you are moving to Europe.
You will find matters quite different here.

Europe has a long tradition of state sponsored scientific establishments, that have waxed and waned in importance over the centuries.

The UK was the exception. Until the end of WWI, the main impetus was privately developed (sometimes will royal encouragement) and quite a different structure developed.
The only real exception came from a military direction.
The fifty years following WWI saw the establishment of state scientific undertakings such as the Road Research laboratory, The Building Research Establishment and many others.
Sadly during the following fifty years governments of both 'right' and 'left' have steadily dismantled / privatised these operations as well as the ones with military beginnings such as the Hydrographic Office of the Admiralty and The Ordnance Survey.

The histories of the Hydrographic offices of the UK and the US are interesting to compare.
I once read a book about the sporadic history of the US version and how it suffered from political interference and being a politcal football.
The UK HO by contrast enjoyed substantial government support from the 1690s to the 1990s.

Significant also is the difference between the US, the UK and European systems of professional qualifications. Most former British Empire states more or less follow the UK pattern, Except India, where the state has stepped in.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Art Man said:

Denying scientists freedom of press to publish their papers as they see fit and forcing it all into a universally available database is very communist (left).

Since the requirement comes from the funding agencies, is this a freedom the scientists have/had? The public pays for the research. Don’t they deserve access to the results? That actually sounds democratic to me.

 

3 hours ago, studiot said:

You have concentrated on the Americans, but say you are moving to Europe.
You will find matters quite different here.

Europe has a long tradition of state sponsored scientific establishments, that have waxed and waned in importance over the centuries.

Not so different in at least one aspect - the US government funds a lot of research.

12 hours ago, Art Man said:

Republicans aren't well suited for public science because of it's openness. You aren't going to find Republican scientists at NASA or at the science fair getting to know the crowd. If you're looking for Republican scientists try the billionaire oil rigs, the arms dealers, try the tool companies or vehicle manufacturers. Republican scientists are going to work for the private sector and not spend their time socializing and making themselves available for surveys. You're going to find Republican scientists quietly gravitate towards the less social demanding higher paying jobs, jobs with little recognition and higher tech demand such as engineering jobs or resource gathering jobs.

What’s your take on scientists working for the DoD? Republican or Democrat?

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5 hours ago, Strange said:

That isn't a left or right thing. Both extreme right and extreme left governments or dictators are likely to try and control what is said and thought.

Any evidence for that bizarre fantasy?

I think everyone does. They seem more interested in hanging on to the past and their money.

It has never made sense to me that the political philosophy that is supposedly based on business and capitalism, doesn't understand the idea of managing resource, for example. They should be the first ones to worry about pollution (because it could affect the quality of their products and therefore profits) or running out of oil, or climate change.

Instead they prefer to deny these things happen, then claim it doesn't matter and, finally, when it is almost too late agree to do something.

It's fairly simple. We tend to serve our self interest as individuals. If not regulated this can lead to very bad outcomes, not always just for the group but sometimes for each and every participant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

It's fairly simple. We tend to serve our self interest as individuals. If not regulated this can lead to very bad outcomes, not always just for the group but sometimes for each and every participant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

Then how are we conversing?

Who did the regulating?

Edited by dimreepr

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59 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Then how are we conversing?

Who did the regulating?

On the internet.

Scienceforums.net.

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4 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

On the internet.

Scienceforums.net.

Then we're not all cattle, so it's not as simple as who killed the golden goose.

 

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1 minute ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

If you take a golden gander at the link, you can probably tell where it might apply, and where it might not.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

You've said that already...

What you've failed to say is, how it's possible to be both self serving and self regulatory...

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20 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

You've said that already...

What you've failed to say is, how it's possible to be both self serving and self regulatory...

I never made that claim. In fact I implied otherwise.

2 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

It's fairly simple. We tend to serve our self interest as individuals. If not regulated this can lead to very bad outcomes, not always just for the group but sometimes for each and every participant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

 

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8 hours ago, Strange said:

That isn't a left or right thing. Both extreme right and extreme left governments or dictators are likely to try and control what is said and thought.

Any evidence for that bizarre fantasy?

I think everyone does. They seem more interested in hanging on to the past and their money.

It has never made sense to me that the political philosophy that is supposedly based on business and capitalism, doesn't understand the idea of managing resource, for example. They should be the first ones to worry about pollution (because it could affect the quality of their products and therefore profits) or running out of oil, or climate change.

Instead they prefer to deny these things happen, then claim it doesn't matter and, finally, when it is almost too late agree to do something.

1. They control what most people think about through what content the media presents, but obviously cant control what everyone is concerned with.

2. That isn't a bizarre fantasy. The only scientists the public hears from are mostly government funded. Reports from large privately owned corporations are largely internal and the government usually has to audit them for information. What reports they do release freely get buried and dont receive much media attention. The point I was trying to make is a sample survey such as the one they conducted cannot be considered a true representation and the reason why they only found a few Republican scientists could be the result of their sampling procedure. Republicans arw a lot more reclusive than Democrats.

3. I particularly have noticed that Democrats are more supportive of scientific issues and reporting scientific data than Republicans.Republicans tend to dismiss scientific reports and ignore factual reporting unless they are pressured to make a public deal of it.

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9 hours ago, Strange said:

Instead they prefer to deny these things happen, then claim it doesn't matter and, finally, when it is almost too late agree to do something.

... which is usually legislation giving their big companies top hazard pay to fix the neglected mess. They love holding out on low-cost bridge maintenance in favor of high-cost emergency repairs, don't they? And as you mention, that's not left or right, liberal or conservative. How can it be conservative to spend money you didn't have to? It's just greedy extreme capitalism, and I think critical thinkers can see that more clearly than others. 

Extreme capitalists messing with consumers is one thing, but when they come after public funds, it's worse, imo. That's money that shouldn't be concerned with profits and enriching private interests. I suppose my political leaning is towards reasoned actions.

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10 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

is exactly what the previous system did. It forced them to publish in expensive journals which people couldn't afford to read.

The current move to making everything available makes sense both from the perspective of the scientist who enjoys a large audience and from the taxpayers who paid for he work and are now better able to benefit from it.

1. So, before the present system, scientists were forced to publish in specific journals that weren't of their own choice? I think the present system should stay intact and plus, what highly educated scientist wouldn't want their work in a fancy high end journal? You'd think they'd want to avoid low end junk.

2. But it wouldn't make sense to people who aren't publicly funded and would cost them a great deal more money.

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Just now, Art Man said:

1. So, before the present system, scientists were forced to publish in specific journals that weren't of their own choice? I think the present system should stay intact and plus, what highly educated scientist wouldn't want their work in a fancy high end journal? You'd think they'd want to avoid low end junk.

2. But it wouldn't make sense to people who aren't publicly funded and would cost them a great deal more money.

1. Not specific journals. They were all expensive. Most articles are not published in fancy, high-end journals.

2. If they aren’t publicly funded, the policy wouldn’t apply.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, studiot said:

Well first thoughts on your thread.

I respectfully suggest you narrow the focus down some. As it stands the subject is enormous - far too big and diverse for one thread.

I see what you mean, but there isn't an abundance of material on science and politics to allow for a ton of specialization. Scientists generally don't touch politics. I noticed that any political leaning articles in science publications are usually always written by that publications' journalists as they use scientists findings to support their propaganda. You don't see a lot of the political concerns coming straight from the scientists themselves. They seem to be used much in the same way by the journalists that the government uses them. So I suppose the heart of this issue is 

A. Why are scientists found to be overwhelmingly Democrat or Independent?

B. Should politicians be able to force scientists to share their findings for free, universally and what does this mean for private corporations that employ scientists?

9 hours ago, studiot said:

You have concentrated on the Americans, but say you are moving to Europe.

You will find matters quite different here.

I imagine that Europe doesn't have as much bad relation between scientists and politicians compared with America.

6 hours ago, swansont said:

Since the requirement comes from the funding agencies, is this a freedom the scientists have/had? The public pays for the research. Don’t they deserve access to the results? That actually sounds democratic to me.

If you pay for something you should get it.

6 hours ago, swansont said:

Since the requirement comes from the funding agencies, is this a freedom the scientists have/had? The public pays for the research. Don’t they deserve access to the results? That actually sounds democratic to me.

 

Not so different in at least one aspect - the US government funds a lot of research.

What’s your take on scientists working for the DoD? Republican or Democrat?

I have no idea. Since the DoD has a revolving door in the leader positions the scientists they employ probably stay apolitical and just do their work. So I would say Independent. If a scientist at such a high level with a lifetime contract or a long term contract had a very strong political opinion their employ would be a bumpy ride because every 5 years you got a new boss whose political affiliation is different than the one before him.

Edited by Art Man

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