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1 freetoken  Mon, Jan 14, 2013 6:21:14am

It’s too sweeping of a statement to say “Scientists hate Republicans” because clearly not all of scientists do, and not all self-declared Republicans hate science.

I do agree that the tobacco research imbroglio was a turning point, where corporations really started to see that it was in their best interests to use government to constrict scientific discoveries from being given force in public policy. It didn’t start there, but it turned out to be a very important cause for the tobacco industry, and for the tobacco growing states in the South. I will note that at that time it was also Democratic Party politicians who didn’t like what was being discovered about the ill effects of tobacco.

Big business generally speaking had been a friend of scientific discoveries, being the importance of industry and agriculture and how both of those fields of human economics rely on engineering and science.

In my perspective the real roots of the problem lay with the rise of Fundamentalism in the early 20th century, and out of this social movement the energy was found for those who would prefer ignorance over discoveries.

Today’s GOP is an anomaly compared to the first century of the GOP’s existence. It is the result, I propose, of entering the end-game in the battle of western world-views, which kicked off big time with the Enlightenment, reached it’s meaty-middle in the Scopes Trial, and now is seeing an increasingly bitter end-game ahead as ideological bubbles become the only way for the old-thinkers to survive.

2 Romantic Heretic  Mon, Jan 14, 2013 6:50:48am

Big Business will be a friend of science only as long as science contributes to Big Business’s power. When science stops being useful, it will be treated like all things and people that don’t contribute to the economy.

3 Dr. Matt  Mon, Jan 14, 2013 7:41:49am

re: #1 freetoken

It’s too sweeping of a statement to say “Scientists hate Republicans” because clearly not all of scientists do……

True. But, I have spent the majority of my career involved in academic medicine and research and it’s NOT an exaggeration to state that overwhelming majority of researchers are Democratic voters. In fact, after 8 years of dubyah and his GOP majority defunding (or flat-lining) research funding, I knew many RW scientists who voted for Obama and it was the first time in their lives that they voted for a ‘D’. A scientist/researcher voting for the GOP IS voting against their best interest. Research and science flourished under President Clinton because the NIH was well funded. Scientists took more risks and were more innovative because more money was available. Albeit, not all risks are good bets but to advance any field risks are needed (e.g., look at Microsoft, Apple, Facebook….these were not sure bets). Under dubyah the field went stagnant because money was thin and scientists resorted to rehashing old ideas that were known to be “fruitful” but were not risky or overtly innovative. Things have improved slightly under President Obama, but since the GOP/bagger Congress took hold of the purse strings, we are starting to see similar habits of less innovative/risky research proposals so scientists can be ensured to be funded with more “black and white” projects.

4 Dr. Matt  Mon, Jan 14, 2013 7:46:08am

re: #1 freetoken

I will note that at that time it was also Democratic Party politicians who didn’t like what was being discovered about the ill effects of tobacco.

To be more accurate, it was conservative Democratic Party politicians who didn’t like what was being discovered about the ill effects of tobacco because as a conservative they cared more about Big Corporations than the people. Today, those conservative politicians who defended Big Tobacco in the 50s and 60s would be part of the GOP today.

5 kirkspencer  Mon, Jan 14, 2013 8:49:34am

re: #4 Dr. Matt

To be more accurate, it was conservative Democratic Party politicians who didn’t like what was being discovered about the ill effects of tobacco because as a conservative they cared more about Big Corporations than the people. Today, those conservative politicians who defended Big Tobacco in the 50s and 60s would be part of the GOP today.

If you don’t mind, a bit more accuracy.

In general the democratic supporters of tobacco were from states where tobacco was grown or otherwise provided significantly to the state’s income, not just to their own coffers.


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