We’ve been told conservatives don’t believe in science and that there’s a “Republican war on science.” But John Tierney, who’s written about science for The New York Times for 25 years and now writes for the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, told me in my latest online video, “The real war on science is the one from the left.”
“People talk about this Republican war on science, but if you look around, my question is, where are the casualties? What scientists lost their jobs?” asks Tierney. “I can’t find examples where the right wing stopped the progress of science, whereas you can look on the left and you see so many areas that are taboo to research.”
Some research on genetically modified foods became taboo because of protests from the left. That may have prevented a second Green Revolution to feed Africa.
Scientists can’t even talk about whether genes affect intelligence without being threatened by the left. Political scientists who continued to investigate the topic are screamed at on college campuses, the way Charles Murray, author of “The Bell Curve,” has been.
Tierney adds, “The federal government stopped funding IQ research decades ago.”
Likewise, researching gender differences is dangerous to your career.
“You can’t talk about sexual differences between men and women, (although) it’s OK if they favor women,” laughs Tierney. “You can say men are more likely to commit crimes, but you can’t suggest that there might be some sexual difference that might predispose men to be more interested in a topic.”
Google fired engineer James Damore merely for suggesting that sex differences might explain why more men choose to work in tech.
“Damore just pointed out very basic scientific research about differences between the sexes,” argues Tierney. “The experts in this, as soon as he published that memo, said, yes, he basically got the science right.”