Science vs Commerce should not be the argument. One without the other and they both cease to exist.
Politics vs Everything is the argument. Example: The NRA (the right) exists to protect a citizens right to bear arms. The ACLU (the left) exists to protect all citizens rights. They should be allies. They ain’t. Politics.
Interestingly enough, left vs right wing politics doesn’t play nearly as big of a role in scientific funding as it does in say gun control policy. There are very few laws regulating scientific research, and almost all of the ones that do exist are rules for human testing.
The few political debates that do arise concerning research, such as the stem cell debate, are actually not as much of a problem as they seem. For all that the stem cell ban had slowed down research, it did just as much to bring the concept into the public view, which in turn made it extremely fundable.
Politics ruins a lot of things in this country, but a large percentage of the funding for basic long term research comes from the government. I also do not like to take responsibility off of the researchers, only because if nothing else, they are the only ones interested enough in the problem to fix it (politicians sure don’t care).
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