This is a HUGELY important extension of the discussion, Carol Black.
Joe Brewer
102

Yes; the point I’m raising lies between the extremes of “fake science” and the ideal of “real and authentic scientific practices,” to look at the funding structures which create conflicts of interest for even well-intentioned scientists — not just through direct corporate funding of research, but also through a corporate revolving door at the federal agencies which fund research, and through large donations to universities which fund research. (For example, The Stanford Center for Food Security was funded through an initial multimillion dollar grant from Cargill.) These influences are extremely difficult for legitimate scientists to avoid, and if we want to “save science,” as it were, I think we have to grapple as a society with finding a way to fund research that does not create these conflicts of interest.

The other point I’m raising has to do with questions being framed as “science” vs. “non-science” which are actually questions of moral values — for example, of a precautionary principle vs. a more risk-tolerant “wait-and-see” approach to examining the toxicity and environmental impacts of a new chemical compound, genetically modified organism, nuclear technology, etc. As Grundmann and Stehr put it in their excellent article, “Social Control and Knowledge in Democratic Societies”, “the basic rift in such debates is not between lay people and experts but between two alliances that advocate different courses of action based on divergent basic values and knowledge claims… we see representatives of science and the lay public on both sides.”

https://www.academia.edu/322963/Social_Control_and_Knowledge_In_Democratic_Societies

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