Once you politicize science, it’s no longer science

by Gordon J. Fulks, PhD

Local scientist Gordon Fulks recently received an invitation to join a “living room conversation” to discuss Global Warming, as someone “who does not believe that humans are causing Global warming”. The invitation described the project they were working on: they’d “developed a practical and personal approach to hosting rewarding and productive conversations among people with different political perspectives.”

Dr. Fulks replied:

I think you must have me confused with someone else.  On subjects that purport to be about science, I am not a liberal or conservative, only a scientist.  If you had a living room full of people discussing Global Warming that included Nobel Laureate in Physics Ivar Giaever, PhD (who campaigned for Obama), meteorologist Martin Hertzberg, PhD (a staunch Democrat), and geophysicist Claude Allegre, PhD (former French Minister for Education and member of the French Socialist Party), I would be sitting with them, regardless of my political views.

The attached open letter to President Obama that several of us signed (including me, Ivar Giaever & Martin Hertzberg), shows how strongly scientists put their science ahead of their politics. Note that the letter was circulated by the libertarian Cato Institute, but they never asked about our politics.

There is little point in mixing scientists with political partisans who know nothing about science but are certain they know everything about Global Warming.  The Al Gore crowd lives on another planet, and no evening is long enough to persuade them that they should learn something about science, or even respect its methods.

Inherent in your approach is the assumption that polar opposites on the political spectrum can find common ground that is roughly half-way in between. That may be true in politics, but it is completely untrue where objective reality is involved.  We scientists seek to “understand the mind of God,” as Albert Einstein put it. While we may or may not be correct on any scientific topic, the only pertinent arguments are real scientific arguments involving honest evidence. The only satisfactory outcome is a completely objective analysis.

There is no political compromise possible on the Scientific Method. Sorry.

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)