Facts, politics and science

Scrutiny and context in science

A restored faith in science can only be a good thing, but nonetheless science must be subject to scrutiny. We must understand that science comes from human scientists, just as fallible and vulnerable to influence as anyone else, and that science can only be understood in the social and political context that surrounds it, writes Jana Bacevic.

Science is in vogue once again. The Coronavirus pandemic seems to have, at least temporarily, displaced the worry over ‘alt-facts’ and ‘post-truth’ into a renewed trust in expertise and the role of scientific evidence in decision-making. Governments across the globe are claiming to be ‘guided by the science’ and competing to show they have ‘the best science available’. Yet science also seems to be used to justify sometimes very different courses of action.

In many ways, the return of trust in science is a good thing. In the last decades, doubting the credibility of scientific knowledge has been used to promo

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This science can only be understood in the social and political context that surrounds it, writes Jana Bacevich.

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