Science and Policy, Politics and the People

Categories: PoliticsScience

How science changes our lives from the past. Our lives depended on science, without science knowledge our entire life style will become harder and we start to struggle for survival. It was not the case in past centuries. But if science had not been invented we would have still living in the caves. One single invention brings revolution in human life style and then other inventions follow one after the other and each invention is somehow related to the other. At present the amount of science researchers and scientists are much bigger than in the past.

So we can find cure for any diseases and prevent diseases becoming life threatening and epidemic or pandemic. Applying scientific knowledge in different areas of life make the human life style much better. Science make better changes in medical system, food industry, farming, communication system, transport, industry and production, entertainment and education system. The scientists were living in the past did not get enough support from public or the politicians for their research and inventions.

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But later years the science inventions brought biggest break through. The inventions and researches carried out gave answers for many unknown questions and entirely changed the peoples’ life style. Science inventions and knowledge is now available for everyone in the world. Classical examples are the usage of smartphones and the rapid development of communication systems such as the internet. Improved communication systems provide every single updates about the new scientific inventions.

Science and scientific inventions mainly decided by three main categories of people.

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They are scientists, politicians and the general public. The amount of scientists is not enough for a country. The politicians rule the country. They are the people who form the government. Without them it is impossible to build a country safer for the general people and scientists. The politicians decide the good and bad things for the people living in the country by forming and changing the existing rules. At this point politicians cannot all the time support the ideas proposed by the scientists, because politicians also have to consider scientific research in many different ways such how the science policies will affect the people and the government. On the other hand the people can decide the fate of politicians and scientists. Throughout my essay I am going to discuss about the relationship between these three groups and how science will influence on these three groups people. Science is one of the important part of human life and it is deeply buried in the life of human throughout the evolution. The science is the major part of life. Life on the earth cannot exist without science and scientific knowledge.

The scientists are the back bones of a country’s economy. The inventions made by the scientists improving the quality of life. The average age of life is prolonged. Work force increased. Even though the death rate of the elderly population decreased and older population size increases, parallel to that the healthy young working population also increases. The invention of antibiotics and other lifesaving medicines and the inventions of modern lifesaving operations and medical technologies saved millions of lives from death. Work force increases, efficiency of production increases and finally the economy grows country becomes rich. In the past people did not have knowledge about the food what they ate. But now because of the scientific inventions and knowledge and super-fast communication systems people are enlighten. The food scientists provide a clear idea and excellent knowledge about each type foods, which food is good and which is bad for human health and what type of food should be consumed when we are ill.

The earth is the only place for the survival of living things with variety of natural resources. The scientists identify the materials present on the earth and explain us how to use them for different purposes. Also they find some alternative way if the important raw materials run out. At present the main environmental problem is the global warming. After the industrial revolution, the usage of fossil fuels has been increased dramatically. The carbon dioxide and other harmful gases are released in massive amount in to the atmosphere. Greenhouse effect is created. Which in turn results in global warming. The global temperature rises, the polar ice caps melt, sea levels rise and heavy thunder storms are formed. In the future the situation may become worsen. To resolve this issue at present the scientists work hard to invent renewable energy resources such as alternative fuels, biofuels instead of using traditional fossil fuels. Developing new methods of extracting recycling metals, building ecofriendly vehicles etc. These are some examples clearly point out the need of science and scientific work in the modern world.

On the other hand “With science, politicians get the answers they want but scientist don’t”. This is well known problem between scientist and politicians from centuries. In the past the politicians and religious people did not believe the theory of evolution created by Charles Darwin. Because they believed that every single living organisms were created by the god. But later the scientists proved the evolutionary theory by providing evidences and they started to call Charles Darwin as father of evolution. Because of the politicians lack of scientific knowledge lead them to make foolish policies which dramatically affected the science researches.

To carry out the researches large amount of money should be invested. Science researches are time consuming processes. Some researches have to be continued for many years to get positive outcomes. But politicians do not understand the nature of researches. They desire to find the results quickly as possible to save money and time. The scientific researches are taken to the parliament for the approval. Because of the lack of scientific knowledge some politicians cannot understand the hypothesis and they simply reject the research proposals. For example in 2009 professor David Nutt issued a paper about the drug classification and harmful effects. He suggested that the cannabis should be classified to a class C drug rather than class B and also he suggested that the alcohol and tobacco are more harmful than LSD and ecstasy.

When Professor David Nutt found his discoveries he informed the government about the drug classification. But he got reply from Alan Johnson who was the labour UK home secretary, the replay was “I cannot have public confusion between scientific advice and policy and have therefore lost confidence in your ability to advise me as chair of the ACMD”. He did not accept Professor David Nutt’s works because of the lack of scientific knowledge.

The politicians must always get help and advice from the science community in order to create policies, jobs and researches. Also the scientists need politician’s helps to obtain funding, ethical approvals and other support. Then only they can carryout their research. The scientists and politicians work for the people. Every rules and decisions made by the politicians and scientists have dramatic effects on the people. On the other hand people decide the future politicians and they can change the life of politicians at any time. If the scientific researches are unethical people can stop them by mass protest and signing petitions. These type of activities can be done by public campaigns. In addition to that the modern generation have better education and knowledge, so they can study and analyse the scientific researches to make correct decisions. For example the image 2 below shows the relationship between the US public and the US scientists in various fields. 88% of the scientists said that the genetically modified food is safer for the health but only 37% people believed this argument and use genetically modify food, but almost 57 % of peoples rejected the usage of genetically modified food. If we see the animal research area, 42% people are favour and 47 % of people oppose the researches. This happens in every single field in every country. The reasons why the general public do not believe the scientists are the previous catastrophic scientific inventions, lack of education and inappropriate rules made by the politicians. This situation can be changed in the future if the people have enough knowledge to understand the scientific research works.

Usage of the alcohol and tobacco make close relationship between people, scientists and politicians. The alcohol and tobacco are part of our culture for many thousands of years. At the same time it has big impact on the human lives in later age. The usage of alcohol in long term damages the liver (the fatty liver known as cirrhosis) and heavy drinking cause serious road accidents. The smoking causes heart related diseases and other dangerous diseases such as cancers. The diseases and tragedy incidents cause burden to the National Health Service. This is why scientists develop nicotine patches and nicotine gums to reduce the smoking habitats and also advice the necessity of the low percentage alcohol to reduce the adverse effects on the human body. The reason why we cannot completely stop these products from usage is every year the government gets more income from the taxes collected from sales of these products. This money can be spent on health services or other public services. This why the government creates various rules like age limit, introduces bans on alcohol and tobacco advertisements, penalty for underage drinking or moking and give more educational advises to the young generation. In this situation scientists can’t stop alcohol or smoking consumption unless the politicians and public corporate. In order build a better society and the country, the politicians and scientists should find a common language, understand each other and should work together.

The politicians should have a broad knowledge about the researches and inventions carried out by their scientists. The scientists should explain their inventions and theories through clear presentations to explain the nature of the researches to the political leaders. The communication gaps between the scientists and politicians should be eliminated.

There are certain steps need to be taken by politicians, scientists and people to build up a better society. The politicians should have broad scientific knowledge. Politicians should have a group of talented scientists to get best advice to make better policies in different areas such as industry, defence, health, agriculture and medicine. If the politicians get better advice from scientists, they will be able to make better decisions and give permission for useful scientific researches. More work places can be created, more opportunities can be given to young scientists. More research ideas and projects can be created. If the politicians are enlightened with better scientific knowledge, they can clearly understand the nature of the researches carried out in their countries and they can make better political decisions which can be used to improve the country.

Scientists should clearly understand the current political, social and economic needs of the country. They also should clearly understand the government policies made by the politicians in order achieve their goal. The politicians cannot approve the funding towards the researches without getting approval from the parliament. They should clearly explain and provide evidence in order to obtain permission from the parliament. It is the duty of scientists and science advisers to help the politicians before they take the policies to the parliament for the approvals. Majority of the world population have enough knowledge to understand the policies made by the scientists and politicians. People try to choose the best policy makers to rule the country. Public and media ask questions to the politicians and scientists about the current policies and researches. Politicians and scientists have the responsibility to give proper answer to the public and media. The communication between the politicians, scientists and general public make every one work hard and honest. Every one contribute for a better future of the world.

Bibliography

  1. Funk, C. and Rainie, L. (2015) ‘Public and Scientists’ views on science and society’, .. Kelkar, S. (no date) ‘Science vs. Politics: A pragmatic argument for why this distinction doesn’t work’, Available at: http://hasts.mit.edu/2014/07/28/science-vs-politics-a-pragmatic-argument for-why-this-distinction-doesnt-work/ (Accessed: 3 November 2015).
  2. MacGregor, G. A. and Hashem, K. M. (2014) ‘Action on sugar-lessons from UK salt reduction programme’, The Lancet, 383(9921), pp. 929-931. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60200-2.
  3. Nutt, D. (2009) ‘Government vs science over drug and alcohol policy’, The Lancet, 374(9703), pp. 1731-1733. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61956-5.
  4. Nutt, P. D. J. and Nestor, D. L. J. (2013) “What is addiction?’, OPL Addiction, , pp. 1-6. doi: 10.1093/med/9780199685707.003.0001.
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Science and Policy, Politics and the People. (2021, Sep 12). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/science-and-policy-politics-and-the-people-essay

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