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Elvis Chidera

The Peril of Politicizing Science — Essay Summary

summary, essay, science, society1 min read

Today's summary is about an essay written in 2021 by Anna I. Krylov.

  1. The outcomes of the merit-based science of liberal, pluralistic societies are vastly superior to those of the ideologically controlled science of the USSR and other totalitarian regimes.
  2. History provides ample evidence that totalitarian censorship of science is harmful to the progress and well-being of societies.
  3. Merton’s principle of universality states that claims to truth are evaluated in terms of universal or impersonal criteria, and not on the basis of race, class, gender, religion, or nationality.

Conversations about the history of science and the complexity of its social and ethical aspects can enrich our lives and should be a welcome addition to science curricula. The history of science can teach us to appreciate the complexity of the world and humanity. It can also help us to navigate urgent contemporary issues. Censorship and cancellation will not make us smarter, will not lead to better science, and will not help the next generation of scientists to make better choices.

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