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Thread: Is trust in science related to political leaning?

  1. #1 Is trust in science related to political leaning? 
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    Is science more trusted by the political left or the right? There will clearly be scientists in both camps, but I do wonder if confidence in what scientist do is related to political leaning.

    I think is is widely agreed that those who dispute that climate change is taking place are more likely to be on the right (conservative) side than on the left (liberal) side.

    Can climate science be rendered conservative-friendly? | Grist

    and there is this from The Scientific American:

    Conservatives Lose Faith in Science over Last 40 Years: Scientific American

    These suggest that the right wing/conservative/republican attitude is sceptical about science. However, it could be argued that the economic consequences of the global warming scenario, for example, are enormous and that only economically responsible right wing politicians should be listened to. Much of what is written will be propaganda - politics can't survive without it - but does anyone have any objective views on whether there is a relationship between science and politics?

    Does anyone have any views on the matter?


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  3. #2  
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    Right and left tend to diverge into hard science or soft science, respectively. I think the consolidation is more on the left, as people are drawn into a complimentary engine built of liberalism, atheism, and soft science.

    Sorry to plug religion into this equation.

    EDIT: Since you're looking at trends, I explain the conservative/religious shift away from science as reaction to the growing influence of that aforementioned engine. A group that can't maintain distinct identity, is assimilated.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    Right and left tend to diverge into hard science or soft science, respectively. I think the consolidation is more on the left, as people are drawn into a complimentary engine built of liberalism, atheism, and soft science.
    Really. Hmm. I see no such separation. Climate science is a hard science for example; as is most environmental protection to preserve water quality, air quality and ecology research. Likewise medical research is also hard science--all more and more rejected by a good number of conservatives in the US.
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    Isn't the right wing pretty anti-science? Or am I misunderstanding what you mean?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    Right and left tend to diverge into hard science or soft science, respectively. I think the consolidation is more on the left, as people are drawn into a complimentary engine built of liberalism, atheism, and soft science.
    Really. Hmm. I see no such separation. Climate science is a hard science for example; as is most environmental protection to preserve water quality, air quality and ecology research. Likewise medical research is also hard science--all more and more rejected by a good number of conservatives in the US.
    Yes, very hard sciences. And it's driving conservatives crazy. Crazy, I mean deep schisms in conservative thought regarding current environment and medicine issues. If conservatives cede those territories, they move further from science.
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    I see a lot of fuzzy thinking on the left as well, like their blind faith in renewable energy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I see a lot of fuzzy thinking on the left as well, like their blind faith in renewable energy.
    And emotional appeals against GM foods or for organic ones.
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  9. #8  
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    When I was in high school (decades and decades ago) the science club and the young republicans shared most members-----------(it was from the science club that i joined the young republicans-----------I handed out literature for Barry Goldwater----------AuH2O for president----------)
    -the now republicans ain't the same. Somehow, that political party got lost in pandering to the religious right nutjobs, and conservative business interests.

    I would still vote for a Ron Paul-----------my recent ideal presidential ticket would be Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich--------

    When the far right meets the far left, it could form a anti-pole to the business as usual crap that we now get.
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    left wing is hippie they never achieve anything...
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  11. #10  
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    blind faith in renewable energy
    And emotional appeals against GM foods or for organic ones
    The hippy element is the left's soft underbelly. Strike there, with hard science.
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    My first science job was an intern position in Boulder Colorado 1981. The atmospheric science labs were a bastions of conservatives, though at the time, in stark contrast with the liberal 60's hippy crowd that had settled around the University. The first week I got a stern mentoring about being careful around in town to avoid the peddlers and druggies. Lots of days after work we'd head to a shooting range on the East end of town or take weekends to go fishing or hunting. At least half were republicans, like myself, standouts in Boulder, but in good company with the farmers of Eastern Colorado. Lots of the scientist came from farming families or similar subsistence livings such as my dad who was a commercial fisherman. Like government workers just about every places I've come to know them, they were inherently conservative group, which for the most part, equated conservation with conservative values.

    Many of those same scientist got shifted into climate research including myself going from thunderstorm cloud physics research into climatology of thunderstorm complexes. I was rather amazed in the years to follow, as Sculptor puts it the Republican "political party got lost in pandering to the religious right nutjobs, and conservative business interests," and started to paint atmospheric sciences as some product of liberal agendas. It's rather remarkable that the republican base has moved so far from being the party that championed so many of the national parks and key environmental policies in the US to complete denial of science, besmirching other conservative public servants, and actively trying to attack the messenger or kill the conclusions from political debate or even reasonable action planning.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; October 11th, 2013 at 10:16 PM.
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    When I was in high school (decades and decades ago) the science club and the young republicans shared most members
    Lynx
    The atmospheric science labs where a bastions of conservative though at the time in stark contrast with the liberal 60's hippy crowd they had settled around the University.
    My experience also. Physics at university was the place for conservatives, along with medicine. And how republicans can accuse physicists of being some kind of left-wing conspiracists is just weird. Gilbert Plass worked out the nitty-gritty details of CO2's radiative properties in the 1950s when working on heat seeking missiles. I'm sure, absolutely certain, he was a left-wing pinko hippie communist. Or something.
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    To be fair, and accurate, modern conservatives are not and shouldn't be called so. As they are most definitely neo-con's.
    My maternal grandparents were religious, and registered Republicans. I specifically remember both of them remarking that they voted for Jimmy in 80' because they didn't trust a Hollywood actor to run a country. In fact my grandfather used the phrase "salt of the earth" in reference to Mr. Carter. The roles of conservatism and liberalism haven't changed, just the labels. It is because of classical conservative values that I contemporarily support what are labeled "liberal" ideas.
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    Someone alerted me to this essay on the progress (for want of a better word) in conservative attitudes in the USA over most of the last century. It's really about how Democrats changing resulted in Republicans changing even more.

    The beginnings were actually in the New Deal or you can go further back to the 19th century if you pull this thread all the way. Personally, I'm in no position to judge about anything prior to the 60s/70s but it's certainly worth anyone thinking through the events and the logic of the processes and the events. How Racism Caused The Shutdown | ThinkProgress
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    ..... Somehow, that political party got lost in pandering to the religious right nutjobs, and conservative business interests.
    Political parties in the UK have changed their traditional stance on a number of issues and it isn't clear to me why this has happened. I have heard it suggested that there are more "career politicians" around now - people who have never worked outside of politics - and it is more than ever necessary for such politicians to embrace policies that will get them re-elected, even when they don't agree with those policies.
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    It bothers me that so many of these scholarly analyses ignore the role of the media. To me the role television plays in shaping US politics is clear and obvious. But its like the elephant in the room everyone ignores.

    Until 1987, the FCC (the US federal agency responsible for regulating broadcast media) had a policy called the Fairness Doctrine that required radio and television stations to present a balanced point of view including all political viewpoints. In 1987, during the Reagan Administration, that policy was abandoned, and stations (and cable channels) were freed to broadcast political content with no sense of fairness or balance whatsoever. It is no accident that the Rush Limbaugh show went national the following year, and a host of conservative (and a few liberal) talk shows followed, almost immediately seizing a sizable fraction of the radio market. Eventually, television followed, with whole cable channels being dedicated to conservative or liberal political shows.

    These shows exist to stir up controversy. The more radical they get, the more their ratings grow, and the less in touch with common sense their audiences get. It appalls me that so much discussion goes on about the causes of the problems with American politics with no mention of how much is driven by unscrupulous media moguls perfectly willing to sabotage meaningful discussion so long as they make a buck doing it.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonG View Post
    Is science more trusted by the political left or the right? There will clearly be scientists in both camps, but I do wonder if confidence in what scientist do is related to political leaning.

    I think is is widely agreed that those who dispute that climate change is taking place are more likely to be on the right (conservative) side than on the left (liberal) side.

    Can climate science be rendered conservative-friendly? | Grist

    and there is this from The Scientific American:

    Conservatives Lose Faith in Science over Last 40 Years: Scientific American

    These suggest that the right wing/conservative/republican attitude is sceptical about science. However, it could be argued that the economic consequences of the global warming scenario, for example, are enormous and that only economically responsible right wing politicians should be listened to. Much of what is written will be propaganda - politics can't survive without it - but does anyone have any objective views on whether there is a relationship between science and politics?

    Does anyone have any views on the matter?
    In America the political left trusts science more than the right. But I think the most important question to ask here is this,

    Does this trust issue hold true in all countries?

    Personally I would say No. I would say that in countries other than America, the political left and the right both trust science the same.


    Many/most conservatives in America have fallen victim to the "corporate propaganda" of Fox news and Rush radio. These news shows were created by large corporations in order to get corporate tax cuts and corporate deregulation. Fox news and Rush radio have also become (deeply) connected to the US republican party. The reporters at these TV/radio stations control what many/most US conservatives love, hate, believe, and desire. I just pray Fox news and Rush radio does not spread to the rest of the world.

    Fox news and Rush radio tell their listeners "man made global warming is not happening" (when 97% of all climate scientists say it is happening.) They tell them this because if something is done about global warming US corporations will loose money.

    Rush Limbaugh the creator of Rush radio tells his listeners about "the four corners of deceit." Rush Limbaugh tells his listeners that government, academia, (science), and media can no longer be trusted.

    Science scorned : Nature : Nature Publishing Group



    The following Australian documentary shows/explains the network of corporations and CEO's that are greatly manipulating Americas conservatives.

    The Billionaires' Tea Party (Full Length Documentary) - YouTube



    Fox news and Rush radio listeners desire to do the following things, and they fight to do the following things.

    to do corporate tax cuts.
    to do supply side/trickle down tax cuts (tax cuts for corporations, CEO's, and the rich.)

    to put O% tax rates on capital gains (so CEO's get 0% federal tax rates.)
    to do corporate deregulation (to increase corporate profits.)

    to be against raising min wage laws (because it will decrease corporate profits.)
    to be against workers unions (because they decrease corporate profits.)

    they want to abolish the FDA, EPA, IRS, FCC, ex.ex. (so they can no longer fine and regulate large corporations.)

    they want to privatize Social Security (so Wall Street CEO's can take $750 billion dollars in transfer fees, and so Americas SS money gets transferred to corporate America.)

    they want to abolish the US post office, public schools, public libraries, ex.ex. (so their funding can be transferred to corporate America, and to get closer to abolishing the FDA and EPA.)

    they are against combating global warming (because it will decrease corporate profits.)

    ex.ex.ex.ex.ex.ex.ex.ex...........................


    Some conservatives in this forum will say (or want to say) that Fox news and Rush radio does not effect them, but the majority of them share many of the corporate dreams of Fox news and Rush radio.
    Last edited by chad; October 20th, 2013 at 01:35 AM.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I see a lot of fuzzy thinking on the left as well, like their blind faith in renewable energy.
    And emotional appeals against GM foods or for organic ones.
    My sister is adamant about this subject. I admit...I buy organic....state certified.....I am sure it does not matter in all food, but in some.
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    About 54 percent of the big-business leaders and 42 percent of the government elite are graduates of just 12 heavily endowed, prestigious universities
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