|Part of the Politics series|
|Basic forms of government|
Scientocracy is the practice of basing public policies on science.
Arguments for and against
Peter A. Ubel, an American physician, is a proponent of scientocracy. In an article titled "Scientocracy: Policy making that reflects human nature," he writes, "When I talk about Scientocracy, then, I'm not talking about a world ruled by behavioral scientists, or any other kind of scientists. Instead, I am imagining a government of the people, but informed by scientists. A world where people don't argue endlessly about whether educational vouchers will improve schools, whether gun control will reduce crime, or whether health savings accounts can lower health care expenditures,... but one instead where science has a chance to show us whether vouchers, gun control laws, and health savings accounts work and, if so, under what conditions."
Bernard Boudreau, a Canadian lawyer and politician, is a critic of scientocracy. He writes, "At the dawn of the 21st century, scientific dogmatism is more firmly entrenched than ever. The scientist has become the high priest of the industrial world, certifying both the academic training of new users and the relevance of types and means of production. In all areas of human discourse, scientific reasoning has the force of law. What was once a theocracy is now a 'scientocracy'". In an article titled "Why the Scientocracy Won’t Work," Wesley J. Smith is "critical of the trend to let 'the scientists' decide what is ethical and what our public policies should be".
Deepak Kumar, a historian, has written about the "Emergence of 'Scientocracy'" in India. Eric E. Johnson has written about "Scientocracy and the Need for Judicial Process". And Casey Luskin, in an article titled "Scientocracy Rules," worries about the influence of a "government-supported science-media-nonprofit-industrial complex", echoing Dwight Eisenhower's famous warning about the "military-industrial complex" and the "potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power".
Scientocracy as a neologism
Some authors are aware of the growing trend to base public policies on science and they are referring to that trend as scientocracy. A Google search will find about 3,700 references to "scientocracy". A search of the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary yields "no results" for "scientocracy". The term scientocracy might therefore be regarded as a neologism, a newly coined word that may be in the process of entering common use but has not yet been accepted into mainstream language.
Florence Caddy (1837–1923) wrote a book titled Through the fields with Linnaeus: a chapter in Swedish history. That book was published in two volumes in 1887. In volume 1 she wrote, "His lesson in Hamburg had taught him that a novus homo must not be arrogant when he enters the society of the scientocracy, and that he must not run himself rashly against vested interests. Yet for all his poverty, Carl Linnaeus seems to have lived in intimacy with the scientocrats of Leyden—Van Royen, Van Swieten, Lieberkuhn, Lawson, and Gronovius." In these two sentences she uses "society of the scientocracy" and "scientocrats" to refer to groups of eminent scientists of that time.
- Peter Ubel (2009). Scientocracy: Policy making that reflects human nature.
- Boudreau, B. (1999). "Pursuit of science, New social factors". Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien 45: 1134–1136, 1141–1136. PMC 2328580. PMID 10349048.
- Wesley J. Smith (2008). Why the Scientocracy Won’t Work.
- Deepak Kumar (2004). "Emergence of 'Scientocracy': Snippets from Colonial India". Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 39, No. 35 (Aug. 28 - Sep. 3, 2004), pp. 3893-3898.
- Eric E. Johnson, (2008). Scientocracy and the Need for Judicial Process.
- Casey Luskin (2009). Scientocracy Rules: Creating Consensus Is the PC Way to Get Smart.
- Caddy, Florence (1887). Through the fields with Linnaeus: a chapter in Swedish history 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 294.
- Gernsback, Hugo (1933). Technocracy Review, March 1933; quoted by Gary Westfahl in Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction. McFarland & Company, 2007, p. 68.
- Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum (2009). Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future. Basic Books; New York City, N.Y. ISBN 978-0-465-01305-0