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Campus Question – December 22, 2012

December 22, 2012

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Campus Question – December 22, 2012

Tonight’s question, greetings, and banter here. (More)

Yesterday the Journal of the American Medical Association posted an article detailing how gun industry allies in Congress defunded gun safety research. Similarly, in 2011 Republicans voted to cut funding for research on climate change, and last year Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) pledged to “get the money out of research” on climate change. Is the Republican Party’s 11th Commandment “Thou shalt not know what I refuse to believe?”

  • NCrissieB
  • NCrissieB

    For the record, you can still get government funding to study why whites are superior to others, or why males are superior to females, if your grant request is approved. You can also get government funding to study how the climate is not changing, or why that change is not due to human activity.

    Maybe that’s because Democrats don’t try to cut off funding for scientific research. If we think the science is junk, we believe the peer review process will bear that out. And it’s possible that even a seemingly stupid study might reveal useful insights.

    Many Republicans in Congress don’t see science that way. If they think a field of study is likely to challenge their beliefs … then that field should not be studied.

    We discussed the Republican epistemic bubble back in May. We saw it in action in November, and we’ve seen it again since. I don’t think it’s healthy, but I don’t know what we can do about it …

    … except to elect enough Democrats to Congress to ensure funding for science, even the science Republicans don’t want us to learn.

  • addisnana

    Republicans seem to like junk science when it supports their beliefs. John Lott makes claims about gun safety that have been repeatedly discredited.

    Here’s what critics say about him. Lott held prestigious positions at Yale and the University of Chicago, where he published his groundbreaking book, “More Guns, Less Crime.” In the early 2000s, his work fell into controversy for employing what some academic critics termed “junk science” and for various apparently fatal methodological flaws. Later, he was unable to prove the existence of a study central to his thesis. He was also caught using a fake “sockpuppet” persona to defend his work and attack his critics online. “In most circles, this goes down as fraud,” Donald Kennedy, the then-editor of the prestigious journal Science wrote in an editorial. Even Michelle Malkin said Lott had shown an “extensive willingness to deceive to protect and promote his work.”

    Junk science or junk scientists are fine with the Republicans and their causes as long as they are supportive.