A few days ago, president Trump was asked to comment about climate changes and he responded that science “Scientists have political agenda”. This statement comes from the idea that science is not only funded by government grants, but also by pharmaceutical and energy company grants. So although scientists don’t have agenda, companies do! This is probably why it is believed that scientists are biased.
We do not have political agenda. One of the privileges of academia is the fact that we have intellectual freedom. Research is about bridging gaps in current knowledge. Plus, if there is a social problem, a current global issue as well as a change in legislation, scientists try to address that problem too. We do this independently as a moral obligation to society. Let’s not forget that research is paid with tax-payers money!
As scientists and citizens, should we turn our head aways when we see the effect of climate changes, the effects of plastic on the environment and marine life, the antibiotic resistance or the refugee crisis? I personally don’t want and many fellow scientists don’t want to do it either.
We work underpaid, unsocial hours and the rate of mental illness in academia is 50 %. We do science for passion not because we follow an agenda. The only thing that pharma or energy companies can do is pay a PhD salary, which is 25 k in the UK.
That’s it this is nothing compared to the 💲💲 professors get from grants. Some of the equipment we use costs 500 k per machine. None can afford this price. Plus parma and oil companies don’t invest in academic research because it’s too risky, 80% of failure. Collaborations come when the science is established and only if companies make a profit from it. Again, this is only propaganda, there’s no sign of truth in Trump’s words
After publishing this post on my Instagram page, I got a few comments that really upset me and had to, firstly, retract the article. At the early stage of the problem of climate changes, some scientists at Exxon fabricated data to make money out of the emerging problem of global warming. To know more please check here. Additionally, other companies such as the Pacific Gas & Energy in USA have been accused of having an agenda. Click here to read. As far as I can see, these research is led in private institutions not in academia. However a case of adjusting data is reported in the UK too. The case is called Climategate. Some scientists at the University of East Anglia allegedly fabricated data to prove global warming. The scandal came about after around 1000 emails were hacked one month before the Copenhagen Summit on climate changes in 2009.
Do scientists have agenda? Many of us don’t. Those who do are just bad scientists and a few and isolated cases of misconduct and lack of scientific integrity make incredible damages to science. They discredited and invalidate the good work of all of us!