Talk:Politicization of science

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Political manipulation of religion[edit]

There should maybe be an additional article on the political manipulation of religion (or politicization of religion) ; nowadays, most people realize that science is the object of serious manipulations, but before science acquired a vast social influence in the West, religion was subject to the same kind of political and ideological manipulations. It could therefore be argued that science has replaced religion in this role, which is still a difficult burden to bear. And although religion continues to be manipulated by political forces, much of its former political role has been substantially reduced by Church-State separation, which many argue to have been ultimately beneficial to the Church. Certain philosophers of science, such as Paul Feyerabend, have consequently argued in favour of a separation of Science and State which would provide the same type of societal benefits to the scientific community. ADM (talk) 06:09, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

The politics/religion stuff is off-topic here. I don't really see a "separation of Science and State" as practicable -- as (i) the state tends to have the deepest pockets & the longest view, so is always the most likely candidate for funding pure science, (ii) it is the main funder of military and space exploration -- two significant funders of scientific advancement & (iii) often needs scientific research to base its decision-making upon. But regardless, before we should include Feyerabend, we would first need a WP:RS & second some indication of prominence of his viewpoint (per WP:DUE). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:50, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
There is a recent article in the USA Today that uses the expression Separation of Science and State. [1] I find it curious that the article made use of the term only a short time after I made the above comment. ADM (talk) 05:24, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
The "separation" that USA-Today is discussing is not analogous to 'separation of church and state', appearing more concerned at making sure that scientific input into political decision-making is not tampered with by political interests. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:35, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Breast Cancer / Abortion[edit]

Shouldn't some aspects of Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis be included in this article? The controversy is entirely political so it seems appropriate for this article. Thoughts before I write something up? Seelum (talk) 17:46, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I'd certainly think a WP:SUMMARY, concentrating on the political aspect, belongs here. Go for it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:04, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I'll see what I can do over the next day or so. Thanks. Seelum (talk) 20:27, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Added. I'm new to this so someone take a look at it and edit as necessary. Seelum (talk) 21:21, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Broader scope[edit]

This article is only scratching the surface of the material it should cover. --John (talk) 16:00, 18 March 2010 (UTC) Sure is, nothing on race?! Christopedia (talk) 05:22, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Agree with the latter. Starting with Galileo, science often has been manipulated for political reasons by partisans of many and various political, economic, religious, religious, cultural, and other interests. Several other, more contemporary examples worth noting include:

  1. Eugenics movement of the early 20th Century.
  1. Denial of HIV cause of AIDS by South African President Mbeki.
  1. Belgium ban of Coke products 1999, later attributed to ‘mass hysteria’.
  1. Japan ban of US beef, 2006.
  1. Recall of US tomatoes in 2008 for supposed salmonella contamination; ultimately linked to Mexican chili peppers.
  1. Trade protectionism by wholesale bans of "Genetically Modified Organisms."
  1. Silicone breast implant fears, unsupported by scientific findings.
  1. Political backlash to 2009 US screening task force guidelines on mammograms.
  1. Claims that cell phones, power lines, other electrical devices cause cancer, despite repeated scientific findings to the contrary.
  1. Persistent fluoridation conspiracy theories, spanning political spectra. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kanbrain (talkcontribs) 01:32, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Politicization of Wikipedia[edit]

I do not believe that political talking points by liberal politicians (Rep. Brad Miller in the DailyKos reference #48) are especially useful in factual articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Winklebean (talkcontribs) 14:50, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that facts are politically liberal and hence should be confined to articles about politics? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I know it's been five years, but holy crap that point needs addressing.
That's exactly the problem with Wikipedia; if something has a factual basis, then you can cite the factual source. Citing a politician talking about it is nowhere near reliable, particularly from a website that has a known political bias. (talk) 18:28, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Waxman Report[edit]

It seems that the link to the Waxman Report in references at the bottom is now broken. You are redirected to a video of Congressman Issa. Is this a political act? It could have been redirected to a critique of the report. But to redirect to a video of Congressman Issa is perhaps adversarial. I can't find a good link for the Waxman report. Does anyone have one? --Carl94965 (talk) 00:00, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I assume you mean the first entry in the External Links section. When I clicked it, it was just a dead link (no redirect for me), and I found some other dead links by clicking randomly on the references. I looked over the recent edit history, and I don't see any recent evidence of anyone intentionally changing the links from Democrat to Republican. I don't have time at the moment, but someone will have to go through and check these. In the mean time, perhaps a Google search will turn up the report you are looking for. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:47, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Ref. 50 and 52 are the same thing (the full report pdf) but the destinations were different URL I fixed both but didn't combine and renumber everything.Lewis Goudy (talk) 05:56, 21 February 2017 (UTC) Ref51 seems to be the same as the first exterior link. It has a slightly different title from the full report so maybe the content is not identical. Accordingly I didn't touch either.Lewis Goudy (talk) 06:09, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

'NAZI Eugenics' section[edit]

Contrary to Eworrall's claims:

  • This section bears little resemblance to Eugenics#Germany
  • Eugenics makes no mention of Coldsprings Harbor Laboratory
  • Eugenics makes no connection between "Winston Churchill and Alexander Graham Bell" and Nazi Eugenics.

This section quite simply appears to be a badly mangled piece of WP:OR. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:29, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

I would further point out that the Eugenics article itself is rather sporadically sourced, making the claim that "reference was provided to the main Eugenics article, which contains sources" even more flimsy. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:57, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

'Eugenics' section[edit]

The replacement 'Eugenics' section, although better sourced, does little to establish eugenics as an example of 'politicization of science'. It rather seems to be a grabbag of random facts about eugenics. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:14, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

More specifically, the material introduced fails to inform as to how politics manipulated science in this case. With eugenics, it seems to be a case of rather poorly-conceived scientific efforts converging with pre-existing social prejudices, rather than either 'manipulating' the other. Thus, this is a poor example, poorly explained. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:18, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Response - 'Eugenics' section

Thankyou for your feedback HrafnTalk. Let me know what you think of the revised section. Regarding your concern about relevance, there is no doubt Hitler and others substantially manipulated scientific research to conform with their idealogical views on Eugenics - I have improved the description of that manipulation, and included an additional reference. I agree that Eugenics was a convergence of poor science and social prejudice, but this is the case with other examples on the Politicization of science page - if the science was good, then it wouldn't qualify as politically manipulated science, and the manipulation is almost always for political gain, to bolster support for a viewpoint or prejudice. eworrallTalk

The Hitler/Nazi manipulation claim is poorly cited, failing to state where in a 480 page book the claim is made. None of the rest of your material establishes any connection whatsoever between eugenics and political manipulation. That you are sure that such a connection exists is not sufficient -- "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true." HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:33, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
And no, I do not accept your extremely vague contention that "a convergence of poor science and social prejudice ... is the case with other examples on the Politicization of science page". The other examples all appear to exhibit overt interference. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:01, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Politicization of this article[edit]

This article as currently written seems to single out a certain president whose name appears fourteen times. That seems a little excessive and potentially politically motivated. Nevertheless, such a narrow focus of criticism limits the quality of this article, one that should have a NPOV. I would like to see some more diverse recent examples, especially ones that represent more international subjects. (Wikipedia isn't American-only.) SoyseñorsnibblesDígame 18:45, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, I don't see one-sided politicization so much as a US-centric and presentist bias in choice of subject matter. I think it's pretty hard to argue that the Bush administration did not have a highly politicized science policy, and given the problems with the excess present-day United States focus of much of Wikipedia content, it's hardly surprising that the focus ends up being on this topic. A more global and historical focus would help this article immensely. Perhaps a breakout "Science policy of the George W. Bush administration" (with proper attention to NPOV) would be a place to put "overflow" material that puts undue weight on the subject in this article. Peter G Werner (talk) 02:10, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

The concept of "the politicization of science" is so broad and multifaceted as to be beyond the scope of a single article. That this expression could be co-opted for an article so narrow in scope and so clearly weighted toward one political agenda -indeed, weighted against a couple particular politicians- is a prime example of why Wikipedia is considered a second-tier source of information. This article bites the big one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:BD58:F0D0:D9A8:F6E4:264E:C6D2 (talk) 04:39, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Numerous issues with this article[edit]

While the role politics plays in science is undoubtedly a subject worthy of a detailed article on Wikipedia, this article in its present form is too much like a soapbox for editors to list accusations against various beliefs or politicians. The writing does not come off like an encyclopedic article discussing the storied history of the relationship between science and politics. In fact, it seems overly biased in this respect by referring to "politicization of science" as though science is not almost always intertwined with politics. A rename may be in order there. Much of the material is even bordering on WP:BLP violation territory by focusing heavily on inflammatory accusations against former President George W. Bush. Adding more info about historical cases in the relationship between science and politics, and focusing on some of the non-fringe instances where science plays a role in politics. For instance, while the section on global warming notes that the mainstream scientific view is claimed to be used for political gain, it appears to focus on global warming skeptics.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 00:50, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

I disagree. This is a notable topic with notable examples found in reliable sources on the subject. It isn't "inflammatory" to cite these sources or to write about them. I feel you are misusing the maintenance tags due to your own personal POV, therefore I will be removing them. Adding tags as a badge of shame without allowing a reason for their removal is a tactic I refer to as maintenance tag terrorism. Viriditas (talk) 08:12, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Politicization of Science by Scientists[edit]

This article focuses on pressure by politicians to alter or otherwise affect the reporting of science by scientists for political purposes. It completely neglects instances where scientists have done or have been accused of doing the same for political purposes. Environmental science is an area that is anecdotally notorious for such practices. Certainly there are verifiable instances of such practices in many fields and this seems like the most appropriate article for them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Can you provide some reliable sources for this claim? - SummerPhD (talk) 04:49, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Look up Kinsey's pedophiles. Seems like politicization of science by a scientist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:26, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Do you have reliable sources calling it "politicization of science"? - SummerPhD (talk) 14:23, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I also want to note that the campaign to paint Kinsey as a supporter of pedophilia is a WP:FRINGE effort by Judith Reisman, and really doesn't have a place in this article. Peter G Werner (talk) 02:14, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Marijuana and Second hand smoke[edit]

Should the issues surrounding scientific research into marijuana and the misleading studies inflating dangers of second hand smoke also get mention in this article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Death panel for this article[edit]


The "Devil's advocate" has listed some issues with the article, but I don't think the answer is to add more junk in a misguided attempt to balance out the various biases. If you ask me this article should be hauled before a death panel.

We may well have various "reliable sources" that happen to use the phrase "politicization of science", or something like it, in reference to some scientific claim or other. What is completely lacking is any sort of source about the topic itself. The lead paragraph is "sourced" from three articles that all have to do with creationism vs evolution in american classrooms, and not the overall topic. I'm guessing you won't find any suitable basis for this article, so just kill it. -- (talk) 05:29, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

If you believe the article should be "killed", you'll need to take it to AfD. Good luck. In addition to several popular books on the subject and substantial discussion in the general media ([2], [3], etc.), there is a substantial body of scholarly literature on the subject (Science, The Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics, SUNY Press, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Nature, etc.). - SummerPhD (talk) 17:58, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
As an aside, the Journal of scientific exploration is unreliable, IRWolfie- (talk) 11:10, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Galileo Galilei[edit]

Perhaps a section on Galileo Galilei and Copernicus would be in line with this article? Though it was the beginnings to our current model of the solar system, it shows oppression by a political group (theocracy). Thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

To what extent do secondary sources portray that as political, as opposed to religious? --Tryptofish (talk) 16:27, 3 July 2012 (UTC)


Hasn't the science of homosexuality been politicized? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:18, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

"Skeptical" has multiple meanings[edit]

User:Ryulong asks why a long phrase should be used to replace "those skeptical of global warming." It is because in the context of global warming, the word "skeptical" can be a euphemism for global warming denial or it can mean scientific skepticism or anything in between. It is better to disambiguate by being explicit which requires more words. I propose that a good compromise would be "those who disagree with Scientific opinion on climate change". IHaveAMastersDegree (talk) 14:38, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

It's unfortunate that a common English word has such negative connotations attached to it in this very controversial topic, but it's probably a better and much shorter alternative than what you had introduced.—Ryulong (琉竜) 14:46, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Can you suggest a short alternative that avoids ambiguity? I don't think such ambiguity is acceptable. IHaveAMastersDegree (talk) 15:02, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't see why "skeptical" is so problematic. You are the one who seems to be linking its use directly to denial of global warming when its actual meaning is innocuous.—Ryulong (琉竜) 15:04, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I am linking it to denial because it is often used as a euphemism for denial. That's why I think it should be replaced by a term that is more neutral and unambiguous. What do you suggest? Simply reverting it does not solve the ambiguity or neutrality problem. IHaveAMastersDegree (talk) 16:09, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
If it's literal skepticism there's no point in saying that it should be connected with denial simply because of the subject.—Ryulong (琉竜) 18:45, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

User:IHaveAMastersDegree persistently ignores the dictionary meaning of skeptic and replaces it with a variety of words, sometimes pejorative, sometimes unsourced. I have complained on the Administrators Noticeboard which resulted in an "ARBCC notification" on IHaveAMasterDegree's talk page but he/she persists and is currently editing articles many times per day, (watch I am not engaging with him/her here, just warning about what's going on. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 16:18, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

As I have pointed out on numerous occasions that you have likely observed, "skeptic" in the context of a scientific subject implies scientific skepticism but in the context of global warming it can alternatively imply global warming denial. There is an entire page called skepticism that goes way beyond the limited dictionary definition. If it is against the rules to edit multiple articles in a day, can someone please point me to that rule? I do not want to break any rules and will stop if I'm not supposed to. IHaveAMastersDegree (talk) 16:44, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
You have simply been made aware of the pre-existing controversy over this topic area and if you are found to be disrupting it you might be sanctioned for it.—Ryulong (琉竜) 18:45, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't think I have been disruptive. I made a change, you reverted it, and now we are talking about it. How is that disruptive? IHaveAMastersDegree (talk) 19:23, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
All of the edits you have made to this project have been removing the word "skeptic" in favor of some wordy alternative when it refers to skepticism of climate change.—Ryulong (琉竜) 04:03, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I was able to reduce your five words to two words. It is neither wordy nor ambiguous now: "Both mainstream climatologists and their critics have accused each other of politicizing the science behind climate change." Fair enough? — Preceding unsigned comment added by IHaveAMastersDegree (talkcontribs) 00:25, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Update: IHaveAMastersDegree has now been blocked. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 19:26, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Democrats as pure as the driven snow[edit]

It seems rather odd to be charitable that all examples regarding political parties are contra Republican, while nary a mention whatsoever of Democrats. It strains credulity to strongly imply that only politicians of one party are prone to abuses, while another is utterly clean. This does not ring true to anyone familiar with the practices of that breed of creature. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Proposed article split and reorganization[edit]

I recommend creating a separate article titled Politicization of science under the George W. Bush Administration and moving content from this article. The subject of this article is very broad and can range from the politicalization of science under various governments to the politicization of science by right-wing and left-wing advocacy groups. George W. Bush is under a heading titled "Recent examples," but his administration is from as much as seventeen years ago. The new Trump content is starting to get mixed up with the Bush content, and the article is very U.S. centric. We can create better structure by creating two main headings, "Advocacy by organizations" and "Government Administrations," for example:

  • Advocacy by organizations
    • Global warming
  • Government administrations
    • Bush Administration
      • Global warming

Waters.Justin (talk) 22:07, 9 March 2017 (UTC) Since politics are specific to countries, maybe it would be better to make a page titled Politicization of science in the United States, and likewise for other countries. This article could have headings with country names and links to country specific articles. Waters.Justin (talk) 22:23, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Nothing on feminism politicizing science?[edit]

I know this is a thing so I'm surprised to find absolutely nothing about it here — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xanikk999 (talkcontribs) 17:43, 22 March 2017 (UTC)