I read a vey interesting article in the Guardian Weekly about the struggle of science research in the United States following the election of Donald Trump as president (The climate change battle dividing trump’s America). Funding for climate change research is being cut. A climate change sceptic has been appointed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. A couple fo things caught my attention in this article:
- Yes, to inform policy decisions with scientific knowledge and research is difficult
- Science and evidence for policy is under attack from the conservative right but also from a postmodern strand fo leftwing discourse which views science as a social construct
- Politicians in the US, UK and Europe have become too technocratic, unable to to view issues from a personalised emotive basis.
- Climate change scientific in the US are thinking to run for Congress, thus becoming politicians to bring more evidence and science into policy
These are difficult times for making the case that research, knowlede, science matter for informing and improving policy decisions, particularly in the West. Luckily, there are countries who are investing in evidence and seek ways to bring more evidence into policy, like Louise Ball of the Overseas Development Institute has highlighted in a recent blog: Developing and emerging countries buck the ‘post-truth’ trend.