What's the problem with a scientocracy? Watch

Chlorophile
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
The definition of a scientocracy given by wikipedia is "the practice of basing public policies on science". To me, this sounds like an ideal system. A society that bases policies purely on hard facts generated by scientific rigour rather than on political rhetoric and which side generates the most charismatic speakers looks brilliant. However, there are apparently many people who disagree.

If you think a scientocracy isn't the perfect solution for society, why?
0
reply
caravaggio2
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
Do you mind.
This month is Feminism.
Next month is psudo religion
1
reply
Fullofsurprises
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 5 years ago
#3
(Original post by Chlorophile)
The definition of a scientocracy given by wikipedia is "the practice of basing public policies on science". To me, this sounds like an ideal system. A society that bases policies purely on hard facts generated by scientific rigour rather than on political rhetoric and which side generates the most charismatic speakers looks brilliant. However, there are apparently many people who disagree.

If you think a scientocracy isn't the perfect solution for society, why?
I would have thought that logically, based on similar words, a 'scientocracy' would mean a society ruled by scientists, not just the basing of policy in science?

In general I agree that a rational society would be guided by the best thinking, analysis and research available. However, there are also moral and ethical issues and, when it comes to it, dog fights about who deserves the larger share (which is what a lot of politics comes down to) and with the best will in the world, science often can't trump greed, fear or self-centredness without some help from other kinds of people.

To me it's about knowing as much as you can about the science and then taking that knowledge forwards into other areas like politics and trying to influence people to do intelligent things. However, scientists can themselves be very confused about what is ethically right and sometimes do really appalling things because 'they were curious' or 'they were ordered to' - so they are just as prone as everyone else to not being completely right.
1
reply
Chlorophile
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#4
(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
I would have thought that logically, based on similar words, a 'scientocracy' would mean a society ruled by scientists, not just the basing of policy in science?

In general I agree that a rational society would be guided by the best thinking, analysis and research available. However, there are also moral and ethical issues and, when it comes to it, dog fights about who deserves the larger share (which is what a lot of politics comes down to) and with the best will in the world, science often can't trump greed, fear or self-centredness without some help from other kinds of people.

To me it's about knowing as much as you can about the science and then taking that knowledge forwards into other areas like politics and trying to influence people to do intelligent things. However, scientists can themselves be very confused about what is ethically right and sometimes do really appalling things because 'they were curious' or 'they were ordered to' - so they are just as prone as everyone else to not being completely right.
You could argue that we already base our policy on science since it does have some kind of influence. I think the purpose of a Scientocracy is that scientists have control over the decision making process and that scientific investigation is the prime basis of every decision (as opposed to what's necessarily popular with the public or businesses). Having said that, the concept of a scientocracy is a relatively undiscussed one (a google search shows how few people are using the term). It's a sort of subset of a technocracy/meritocracy, just with an emphasis on scientists.

But I definitely agree with the other points you're making. There are definitely questions that science can't answer. The question for me is, if science can't answer it, who can? How would a scientocracy decide who is best suited to answering ethical or moral questions?
0
reply
RandZul'Zorander
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
I think the biggest problem with a 'scientocracy' would be not all political decisions have to do with science. How do you scientifically show what is a better economic decision? How do you decide what groups should have what rights based on scientific discovery? Social theory isn't as easily verifiable as the physical sciences.

There is also, I would imagine, an argument based on deployment of decisions. If we have a system that requires scientific proof then what do we do about problems that arise unexpectedly? We need to wait for scientific results to come in...we need to also wait for them to be retested etc. So that could be...inconvenient (at least) to political proceedings.
1
reply
Louise232
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
There is a conflict of interest. The governmental funds much of science practice today. So, if scientists want to continue receiving funding from the government, they may be tempted to report what the government wants to hear according to the government's ideology. This practice runs the risk of making the science extremely unreliable. For example, let's say the Nazi government had a vested interest interest in reducing the number of a category of people within their country, and, these same Nazi's are funding all of the scientific research in their country. Scientists, in order to continue receiving funding, would be pressured to conduct experiments proving that reducing such category of individuals was indeed beneficial. Saying otherwise would endanger future funding, and in this case, endanger the very lives of scientists. The conflict of interest in this case is obvious. However, in other governments, the pressure on scientists might be more subtle, but the results would be the same. The scientific proof would be unreliable, or funding might be ended. This is where the topics of ethics and morality are crucial. Devoid of ethics and morality, pure science becomes dangerous. Withough ethics and morality, science cannot be always be trusted.
0
reply
Vinny C
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
It fails to take into account morals, international competition and above all... people. Nowt stranger than folk!
1
reply
A Westerner
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
Trouble is much of todays culture is Satanism masquerading as science a la Richard Dawkins.
1
reply
Vinny C
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
(Original post by A Westerner)
Trouble is much of todays culture is Satanism masquerading as science a la Richard Dawkins.
Is that the opposite side of the coin to the church of Christ, the scientist?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How are your mock exams going?

Love them - Feeling positive (9)
9.09%
They've been reasonable (36)
36.36%
Not feeling great... (28)
28.28%
They are TERRIBLE! (26)
26.26%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed