The Problem With Science in Four Headlines

It has long been conventional wisdom that the so-called “hard” sciences are largely immune to the undertow of political correctness. Hence it is hard to take in these headlines from the latest issue of Nature magazine without a heavy sigh:

Indigenous Peoples Must Benefit from Science

U.S. Astronomers Rally to End Sexual Harassment

Climate policy: US environmentalists must turn out to vote

Of course, it is only Republicans who politicize and make war on science. Oh, wait:

With G.M.O. Policies, Europe Turns Against Science

By Mark Lynas

CALL it the “Coalition of the Ignorant.” By the first week of October, 17 European countries — including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland — had used new European Union rules to announce bans on the cultivation of genetically modified crops.

These prohibitions expose the worrying reality of how far Europe has gone in setting itself against modern science. True, the bans do not apply directly to scientific research, and a few countries — led by England — have declared themselves open to cultivation of genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.s. But the chilling effect on biotech science in Europe will be dramatic: Why would anyone spend years developing genetically modified crops in the knowledge that they will most likely be outlawed by government fiat?

Those dastardly Republicans—their anti-scientific reach is even further than we thought.