Well, that isn’t really a surprise, is it?
What’s striking, and depressing, about today’s New York Times piece is how little actual political mobilization — as opposed to mere bitching — it reports. There are lots of voters out there whose own thinking is far from scientific who have a superstitious respect for “science.” If they received the message that Bush and the dominant faction of the Republican Party are hostile to “science” — parallel to the less accurate, but more effectively conveyed message that Kerry and the Democrats are hostile to “faith” or “religion” — that would swing some votes. But it mostly hasn’t happened.
I don’t have any brilliant ideas about how to change this for the future, but I hope someone does. The political cost of ignoring scientific advice is currently too low, and ought to be increased.
Nick Confessore supplies some useful background for interpreting what seemed to me an unduly “even-handed” article. One odd twist in the Times piece: it takes “science” to be coextensive with “natural science.” The social sciences are entirely ignored.