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Should politics be conducted more scientifically? watch

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    (Original post by Bobifier)
    I don't get this. You have accurately stated that british politics has deep, deep flaws, which is good, but after that it's as if you've thought to yourself "hmm... What works well? The scientific method!" and just tried to stick it to politics. You have almost literally picked a random area of study that has a good model for producing results and stuck it in some completely unrelated field. You might as well say that political bills should have the first bit written by one person, the next bit written by another and so on like a production line, because that's working excellently for manufacturers.
    One scientific measure that comes to mind could be a political/scientific body that tracks the political decisions taken in other countries and the effets that they had on unemployment, the economy and general wellbeing of the population so that you could build up a database to see which political plans of action have fared better than others in a quantitative manner.

    - Is a minimum-requirements curriculum like Sweden, better than that of a scrupulously planned one like we have currently? Conduct surveys in respective countries, compare student scores and so on. If one is better than the other, then go for it - no need to debate it as the evidence is there.
    - Upon deciding how to tackle the oil crisis, comparing efficacy of renewable energies vs. nuclear and so on. Again comparing to action taken by other countries (e.g Costa Rica, Norway, Sweden and Iceland who are all close to 99% powered by renewable electricity).

    Politics could really pull in the advice from a lot more fields of science - psychological, sociological effects of political policies especially.

    (Original post by Mithra)
    I think first we would have to have politicians who actually pay attention to any scientific evidence at all ever.
    Agreed ._.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Well politics is not just about facts - it's about beliefs and choices based on those beliefs. Scientists and experts can inform, encourage and warn, but they cannot - and likely would rather not - be the ones in charge.
    Well perhaps politics should be more about facts. Then less vested interests could creep into political decisions, less influence from lobbyists and less of politicians being in it for themselves. When politicians' beliefs on a certain matter start creeping in, that's where it can start to go wrong - the teaching of evolution in schools, raising false concerns about vaccinations, oppositions to rights of immigrants and sexual minorities. Whilst this happens more frequently in the US, it still happens here.

    Again I am not suggesting we just plonk a chemist into 10 Downing Street. I'm saying we need politicians equally trained in science as they are in politics and economics.

    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Sometimes yes, but I'm not sure how far we can take that. Not many political issues are really technical/scientific and we do have expert input where they are. And scientists rarely agree - look at the differing views of economists for example.
    Scientists agree more often then politicians, I can assure you! And economic research usually functions differently to that of other sciences.

    Today's important political issues:

    - Education policy (Psychology, Sociology)
    - Energy Crisis (Environmental Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography)
    - Economic Recovery (Economics, Sociology, Psychology)
    - Healthcare and Welfare (Medicine, Social Care, Psychology, Sociology)
    - Third-world Poverty (Biology, Physiology, Virology, Geography, Economics, Demography)
    - Terrorism (Supposedly) (Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology)

    Politics has never needed science this much before!
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    (Original post by Sime)
    Today's important political issues:

    - Education policy (Psychology, Sociology)
    - Energy Crisis (Environmental Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography)
    - Economic Recovery (Economics, Sociology, Psychology)
    - Healthcare and Welfare (Medicine, Social Care, Psychology, Sociology)
    - Third-world Poverty (Biology, Physiology, Virology, Geography, Economics, Demography)
    - Terrorism (Supposedly) (Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology)

    Politics has never needed science this much before!
    There is no scientific agreement about any of those things...
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    There is no scientific agreement about any of those things...
    But there does exist many proposed scientific solutions to these problems. But we never hear the scientific opinion on any matter discussed in Parliament, only the political/economic one.

    We never hear from educational psychologists/child psychologists on the effect of increased stress on children and families in educational reform.

    We never get input from psychologists on the thought processes of a terrorist (recent findings are showing that many suicide bombers are already suicidal when they are coerced by fundamentalists to martyrdom).

    I'm saying that by having experience in the related fields, politicians could make more informed decisions s to what to do.
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    Some dude called Joseph wrote a theory and put it into practice in running society. No stupid elections or whatever. He was quite efficient at what he did...

    Anyway, social science isn't science in the sense physics is. In physics, if you do something in the same exact conditions, the same thing always happens and there's no subjective opinion whether it's good or not (nobody asks "is it good that apples fall down when you let go of them?"). Neither of these two applies to society.

    Some theorists, like Karl Marx, actually took a very scientific approach to society. His theories were then applied in various contexts and gave very different results (the one that comes up to mind is the Soviet Union, but on the other hand, the very succesful Nordic welfare model also uses Marxist ideas).
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    To some extent you could argue that having a Chancellor who has not studied economics might be a plus.

    1. Anyone who has studied economics may well have decided views on certain operations within the economy; as not all economists would agree on said operations , their cause, effect, significance etc, a Chancellor with predetermined views might be difficult to advise. Look at Vince Cable's recent comments as Business Secretary. This appears, if the reporting is accurate, to be someone who via their existing background has already made up their mind on various issues, I would much prefer a politician with a more open mind.

    2. Managing an entity does not of necessity require one to be a specialist in a particular field of endeavor, the main skill required may be management not the niche area. I have attended woeful meetings re planning applications chaired/ organized by architects. Yes they are to a degree specialists in the area, however they may/may not be able to chair/steer a meeting. Getting a meeting to reach an informed consensus where all participants feel their often competing views have had fair hearing is not easy.

    I appreciate that certain policies no doubt go to a degree over the heads of the responsible minister, certainly in the sciences, however advisers are there to brief and explain the ramifications of policy.

    Re the shouting at each other in the House, that is merely the outward public manifestation of the Commons, the real work is done in Committee where I understand a more thoughtful approach is taken. The floor of the house is merely for showboating/ entertaining the masses.
 
 
 
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