Science in Service to the State

Monday, February 25, 2008
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Over the last 60 years a new power structure, the state, has taken control of information. It uses federal tax money to fund and control research through the peer-review grant system. It forms mutually advantageous partnerships with industry and the academic community, which do its bidding. The state holds sway over education. And to round out its control of information, an increasingly powerful centralized government bureaucracy has persuaded the
mainstream media to accept and espouse state-approved ideas. The Western tradition of information ethics dating from ancient Greece to the 20th century, characterized by freedom of speech and inquiry, has been co-opted by government. Knowledge advances by questioning accepted paradigms (Hillman, 1995). The state thwarts this and requires its tax-funded scientists to conform to the official establishment view on such things as global warming and HIV/AIDS. Government-sponsored scientific research reflects the biases, preferences, and priorities of its leaders (Moran, 1998). The state uses science to further its social and political purposes. Its actions follow Lang’s First Law of Sociodynamics, where

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