Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Note on the Politics of Science and Engineering

Jeffrey Ellis (seen via TJIC) has been speculating on why scientists seem to be to the political left of engineers. I think it might have something to do with the fact that in the most prominent controversy in the past few decades involving both science and politics (creationism) right-wing crackpots have been on the wrong side whereas in the most prominent controversy in the past few decades involving both engineering and politics (nuclear energy) left-wing crackpots have been on the wrong side. (I tried combining the controversies in my suggestion for a Science Debate topic.)

Recently, the Anthropogenic Global Warming controversy (which has to do with both science and engineering) has been heating up. Many scientists will look at it and think “the yahoos are ignoring facts again” and many engineers will look at it and think “the hippies are interfering with energy supplies again.” The fact that the yahoos and hippies are on opposite sides makes things harder to sort out.

My take on it is:

  • The scientists are right: There is such a thing as AGW.
  • The engineers are right: It is not a crisis; it can be fixed easily provided the bleeping hippies don't interfere.

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