Big Pharma and the Opposite of Science

Can we all agree that no reasonable and compassionate person would want to force people to choose between food and medicine?

Unfortunately, too many people across the ideological spectrum assume that by opposing or favoring certain measures — greater regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, for example — you forfeit your reason and compassion.

Politics Is the Opposite of Science

The question of effective means to achieve a particular end is often a question of science — physics or economics, for example — rather than of politics. Determining whether it’s technically feasible or economically worthwhile to explore Mars is a matter of science; trying to gather sufficient popular backing to do so is a matter of politics.

Strictly speaking, pure science is about the search for the genuine causes of observable phenomena; politics is about gaining the authority to pursue favored outcomes. The method of science entails tolerance of and relentless but reasoned criticism of all views, including one’s own; the tools of politics include what urbanist Jane Jacobs calls “deception for the sake of the task.” Real science is about critically examining premises; pure politics is about defeating your opponent.

In politics, you focus on that part of what is seen that supports your position, while in science, you try to get at the part of reality that is often not seen.

There’s no denying that there’s some science in practical politics and some — perhaps a lot — of politicking in the practice of science. But when it comes to the pursuit of truth versus winning or principle versus expediency, politics is the opposite of science.

What Is Seen about Daraprim

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