Science Politics

We tend to believe that science is independent of politics. Even if the individual scientist does research and studies free of immediate political influences, there are many ways in which politics has an impact on science. Sociologists refer to Max Weber as a prominent figure in the “Werturteilsstreit” that claimed the need for science to be conducted beyond political interference. Karl Popper is another reference in this respect who proposed the positive science approach which starts from theory, hypotheses and testing in the sense of identifying false statements, hypotheses and underlying theories. Modern science is also linked to publications of results. This has become an industry of its own and it is sometimes quite surprising to see the lengthy delays that scientific results get published. One example, Jackie G. Schneider and Julia Macdonald (2024) had to wait 3 years until their paper finally appeared in print in a scientific journal. This paper was received by the Journal in February 2021 and published only in 2024 in the 2nd issue of the journal but online in January 2023! Reports in Nature on difficulties of Indian, African and Chinese scientists to get their work done and published are alarming as well. Further regionalization and departmentalization work against the fundamental principles of independent science and scientists. It is a big issue of international cooperation as well.

Example of Lichtenberg Figure