Re: [asa] scientific fact vs. ideology?

From: Ted Davis <TDavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Tue Mar 10 2009 - 12:29:43 EDT

I quote from the conclusion of George J. Stein, "Biological Science and the
Roots of Nazism," American Scientist 76 (Jan-Feb 1988): 50-58.

<We are forced to reassert that science is totally irrelevant in the choice
of public policies.

   Science, however, always seems to involve scientists. And the
interrelationships among science, scientists, and public policy remain as
problematic today as in 1930. Have those scientists who have been
discussing the "nuclear winter" effects of nuclear war as an effort to
encourage arms control ceased to be scientists? Is it not precisely because
they are scientists who base their policy prescriptions on science that we
are to take their views seriously? If it is true that there can be no
scientific basis for racist policies, must it not be true that there can be
so scientific base for advocating nuclear disarmament? Or must we not admit
that the scientific findings of the natural science of sociobiology or the
social science of biopolitics are likely to be appropriated by interested
parties, even scientists, to serve political ends as were the scientific
findings of the German social Darwinists, racial anthropologists, and
eugenicists? The history of scientific racism, ethnocentrism,, and
nationalist xenophobia suggests that this is no mere academic question.>

Ted

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Received on Tue Mar 10 12:30:10 2009

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