To some extent, science has always been more shaped by political realities and pressures than we usually admit. After all, science is “objective,” done properly, and when we look at a scientific study we like to think we’re looking at the best approximation of fact and truth possible at the present moment.
Of course, this is hardly so. Say you get a government grant to study Alzheimers and do an absolutely textbook, brilliant, landmark study that moves the field ahead ten years. You’re published in a premier journal, win awards, get quoted left and right, lock up tenure, etc. Nothing biased at all about it.
Except that government funds are not infinite, and back when that grant was being reviewed somebody decided to fund research into Alzheimers instead of research into something else, like maybe AIDS or HPV or Parkinson’s or whatever. (More…)
:xposted Scholars & Rogues: