Letter: Corrupted science
I would like to elaborate on Mark Weinhold’s guest opinion published March 31 the Post Independent on publicly funded scientific research.
The U.S. spent $456.1 billion for research and development in 2013, according to National Science Foundation. Substituting the 2015 figures for the federal budget – $135 billon, in addition to private sector expenditures of $322.5 billion and universities’ and colleges’ $64 billion, the total for science in the American GNP is $521 billion.
Yet much of the science – paid by the American taxpayer – has been corrupted by the American political system: renewable energy, stem cell research, immunization, climate change and national security. I don’t understand why the American taxpayer is not furious that “peer-reviewed scientific findings” that were funded with taxpayer money “are being intentionally disregarded or undermined with campaigns of false doubt.”
This is not merely political manipulation of well-founded scientific findings; it is an attack on the integrity of science and knowledge. We – both the public and the private sectors – have used almost 4 percent of total GNP on scientific research (please note that this is not all of science, just scientific research) with the expectation that the findings will be used to make our lives better. Yet the corruption of our political and economic systems have meant that financial profits of the private sector outweigh the benefits that policies resulting from these scientific findings could bring us.
At 1 p.m., Saturday, April 22 – Earth Day – at Paepcke Park in Aspen, people will March for Science – as they will all over the country and all over the world – as Mr. Weinhold so cogently said, “to stand up for science, and ensure a better future for our community and our world.