On the Verge of Another Election, How is Science Political?

November 4, 2019
Mike Olliver/UCS
Michael Halpern
Former contributor

Tomorrow is Election Day, and it’s worth reflecting on how a STEM* identity connects with a political identity. The science blog Sister and Science Rising have put together a fantastic new blog series from women scientists exploring how STEM can be political (yet not partisan), and explaining how working in STEM can profoundly shape advocacy work. They are well worth a read as you head to the polls.

Some people argue that science is above politics. That science is value-neutral. That science is simply the discovery and delivery of facts. Yet when one turns to the dictionary, politics is defined as the total complex of relations between people living in a society. Politics is all about resources and power over those resources.

After that realization, it’s not a big leap to understand science and politics are intertwined, both inside the research community (which, after all, consists of human beings) and in the greater world. From a variety of perspectives and lived experiences, the eight scientists explore how they found their research being influenced by all kinds of politics. Many also look at how politics impacts the distribution of power within science and in the greater world, which is why so many of these blogs address equity and justice and the need to confront oppression.

Check out the blog series through this tweet thread, on the Sister website, or through the links below.

*Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math