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P5 and M4 Influence on science
Transcript of P5 and M4 Influence on science
Political parties and pressure groups are people who want to change or influence laws or government policy on science and technology. These include groups like Green peace and the BMA. Parties and pressure groups have a slight difference in the breadth of their appeal. Whilst political parties aim to achieve power, or a share of power, by winning control over the organs of government, pressure groups do not try to gain power itself but to influence those who already have power. They do this because they believe that some science or technology e.g nuclear power, animal rights, Global warming, artificial reproduction, is morally wrong and should be banned. On the other hand interest groups are people who defend science and technology usually because they work or have invested in such organisations or industries that are at risk of being shut down. How they influence science? These pressure groups or political parties would give there opinion in the media when these issues come up in the news, create websites, carry out direct action against organizations they disagree with and carry out protests in major cities or in the city most affected by the thing they want to have changed.
While protesting they would hand out leaflets and get citizens to sign petitions. These can either influence science in a bad way, for example exposing scientists for what they have been doing behind closed doors and therefore causing distrust between the public and the science field or they can influence in a good way. The BMA- The British Medical Association Commerce and finance All of Science needs funding and a large proportion of this money comes from public sources like the European union, the government or local authorities. However, funding can come from private sources like companies or direct investors.
For example a project that was funded by a public source, (by the government) was NASA's quest to put a man on the moon to find out more about the moon. This was an important piece of research that science achieved and the results were publicly reported. This research was also funded by people who had vested interest like the music industry, who saw that they could make money by developing audio cassettes to record and store sounds from space and so they funded them hoping to get money back in the long run.
Further more A 2005 study in the journal Nature surveyed 3247 researchers who were all publicly funded. Out of the scientists questioned, 15.5% admitted to altering design, methodology or results of their studies as they felt pressured to do so from the public funding source. this could influence science as when these results are published they will be in favor of the funding source and may not be in favor of what the research hoped to achieve. If the money comes from a private source the decision to fund a particular kind of research would be given great consideration into the cost effectiveness of it; a private organisation may not fund research on a new drug if when it is finished developing and put on the market, the patients are unable to buy it and therefore the costs to develop the drugs are not earned back. This can influence science as life changing things could be developed and a lot of problems cured however due to the type and lack of funding a piece of research may receive, this cannot be achieved.
Private funding may be a benefit at times as it can give more reliable results because some pressure and vested interest from the source of funding is taken away, an example of this difference is highlighted when publicly funded research was carried out to find out if the effects of bisphenol were harmful, they reported that there were harmful effects whereas the privately funded research funded by the chemical industry found no evidence of such harmful effects. if there was not this private research to support the claim, this public research would have been reported world wide and had a negative impact on science.
The BMA is currently doing many different research projects to try and influence science and the public, these include projects on effect of alcohol, trying to make the government tobacco free by 2035, and making transport safer. for example one of their endeavor was to find ways to make transport safer, their new report published was intended to influence transport, energy, sustainability and climate change policy makers that can use the research to put laws into place that can help society. GREENPEACE is a global organisation that aims to address issues concerning the planet, the environment and its sustainability through direct intervention. an example of one of their main projects can be back in June 1982 when the Dutch ship Rijnborg was attempting to dump 7,000 tonnes of nuclear waste into the Atlantic. Greenpeace went out there with the intention to make this stop, there was some back bite as the dutch ship crew dropped some waste barrels on the protesting Greenpeace inflatables. never the less after persistent action and uproar from Greenpeace by 1993 there was a law that placed a permanent ban of the disposal of industrial and radio active waste at sea. This was a great acheivement for greenpeace as it has helped the environment additionally it has presented science and scientists to be better people in the eyes of the public. Private Funding