Science and politics are two social spheres that often seem to be at odds with each other, but in fact they can and must, today more than ever, find a form of cooperation for the common good of man.
In a world dominated by technology and increasingly globalized markets, science provides the knowledge and tools that are indispensable to meet the great challenges and opportunities that the present offers us and that the future will provide us, while politics must have the task of translating this knowledge into effective and balanced decisions for the good of citizens.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of science in managing health emergencies, as well as the difficulties in communicating and sharing scientific data with policy and public opinion. Contested vaccines are a symbolic example of this. To overcome these difficulties, it is necessary to establish a permanent and transparent dialogue between scientists and politicians, based on mutual respect and trust, far from the economic interests of multinational corporations. It is essential that citizens participate in understanding scientific processes and their ethical, social, and economic implications, generating transparency that removes doubts and skepticism.
Science and politics can be allies if they become aware of each other’s limits and potentials, if each individual’s special skills are valued, if they can promote research, innovation and scientific education as key factors for social and economic development. Only in this way will it be possible to confront the great global challenges of our time, such as climate change, food security, public health, peace and human rights, recurrent themes of this sad moment, which is witnessing the escalation of the Russia/Ukraine conflict.
It is important to understand that science and politics are two areas that can be allies for human development and growth, if used responsibly and consciously. Science is a universal and fundamental value for the progress of mankind, which has no political color and can contribute to solving common problems. Problems that politics, on the other hand, must manage by applying the information and tools that science puts into its hands. In fact, politics is the art of managing society and promoting the common good, taking into account the needs and aspirations of the citizens.
However, science and politics do not always agree or respect each other. Sometimes science is ignored or manipulated by politics to achieve ideological or economic ends. Other times, science is incorrectly or irresponsibly used by politics to create advanced and highly destructive weapons. Either way, the result is harm to humanity and our planet.
To avoid these negative scenarios, science and politics must cooperate in a transparent and ethical manner. Science should provide policy makers with the information and evidence needed to make informed and rational decisions. Policy must support science with adequate investment and legislation that protects human rights to science and freedom of research.
There are positive examples of the alliance between science and politics, the most obvious of which is related to the search for a vaccine against the virus. In times of global crisis, the world has come together to find solutions to common problems. The vaccine of hope turned out to be a reality and allowed humanity to emerge from the pandemic and resume normal life.
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