Daniel Sarewitz, writing at Slate, has an excellent and thoughtful post, arguing that we need more Republican scientists. No, really. He is right.
Only 6 percent of U.S. scientists
admit sorry, claim to be Republicans, which has profound implications for policy; especially, but not exclusively, for policy regarding climate change.
For 20 years, evidence about global warming has been directly and explicitly linked to a set of policy responses demanding international governance regimes, large-scale social engineering, and the redistribution of wealth. These are the sort of things that most Democrats welcome, and most Republicans hate. No wonder the Republicans are suspicious of the science.
Think about it: The results of climate science, delivered by scientists who are overwhelmingly Democratic, are used over a period of decades to advance a political agenda that happens to align precisely with the ideological preferences of Democrats.
Sarewitiz asks a deeper question: why?
I doubt that teachers are telling young Republicans that math is too hard for them, as they sometimes do with girls; or that socioeconomic factors are making it difficult for Republican students to succeed in science, as is the case for some ethnic minority groups. The idea of mentorship programs for Republican science students, or scholarship programs to attract Republican students to scientific fields, seems laughable, if delightfully ironic.
Yet there is clearly something going on that is as yet barely acknowledged, let alone understood.
It is hard to argue with his parting words:
A democratic society needs Republican scientists.
Yes, we do. So why is this? What weeds out Republicans from science? Where along the way do they drop out? Those are very good questions indeed.