In chapter 10 of Kitcher’s book, he list four problems with science and democracy today. On Tuesday my group discussed some of the issues that arise with these problems and what we could do to limit the effects of these problems. I found the first two problems the most interesting. The problems are:
1) The Problem of Inadequate Representation
2) The Problem of the Tyranny of the Ignorant
These problems are obviously opposites of one another, but which of these do you find more troublesome when it comes to a scientific application? I find the second problem more troubling and frustrating than the first. The ignorant/uninformed/mislead are able to vote on things that they do not fully understand. This means that they can and are easily influenced by people with their own private agendas, who might not have the best interest of the collective in mind. I am not saying that we should take away someone’s right to vote, that is obviously the keystone of our society, but maybe we need to rethink how we vote and fund scientific research. I don’t have any answers on how to restructure this process, but I find it hard to believe that we can’t find a better and more efficient way of doing this. One thing that I have done to minimize my effect on this problem is that I don’t vote on issues that I do not understand. Anyway, what does everyone else think? Which of the two problems do you find more troublesome?