Bloggin' 'bout science and life

Tag: public policy

Perverse Incentives In Making Public Policy About Biological Issues

When I teach our Science of Life course, which is our version of Intro Biology, I cover lots of topics that will be helpful to future health professionals, because that’s what 70% of this class typically is.  I focus particularly on the importance of evolutionary thinking for medical issues.  This might be the only evolution these students ever get!  I also try to get very long discussions going on the implications of the biological issues for making public policy, either good or bad.


One Does Not Need To Be A Scientist To Develop Good Public Policy

“I am not a scientist” seems to have been the most commonly uttered phrase among politicians this past election season.  Many seem to have come to the realization that denying the changes occurring across the planet (e.g., climate change), denying the causes of many of the problems we face (e.g., shortsighted policies that are not informed by evidence), and denying the existence of the natural processes that shape the world around us and that can be used to solve some of these problems (e.g., evolution) is an untenable position.  So they seem to have switched to a position of feigning to be unqualified.  Thus, one has to ask, if you don’t know or if you’re not qualified, why are you not taking the information from people who are qualified and have made it their life’s work to know?


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