Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Courtly Scholars

Here is a nice article speaking to the negative impact that tax-dollar subsidization reeks upon scientific research and the advancement of the same. Seems about right to me. Why would any independent-minded scientist, or any proponent of technological advancement for the that matter, voluntarily subject their pet-projects and life works to the inevitable bureaucratic oversight and resulting inefficiencies that accompany public-financing? Masochists.

Furthermore, its seems to me that intellectually-honest academics would prefer to shun the label of “court-scholar” in efforts to project, at least, an appearance of objectivity. Right? I, to be sure, am almost reflexively distrustful of any and all viewpoint-prone, commissioned-research, whether that research is privately or publicly-financed. Obviously, scientists need to eat too. So isn’t it obvious that we should view certain topical research with a skeptical eye? I am certain that Phillip-Morris would happily throw a pile of cash to Prof. X if they thought Prof. X could convince 1,000,000 bald men that Marlboro Mediums will make their hair grow? But, we don't buy it because we see the transparency and allignment of interests. Well then, why do so many people simply accept publicly-financed research as the gospel, particularly when that research seems to fall neatly within an agenda?