The way political beliefs influence scientific research is not always direct, but it is very powerful. Funding for research and studies are influenced by who is funding the study, what they want to find, and how much money they have access to.

There is strong evidence that political biases in studying disease or developing new treatments exist, even at an early stage of research. A recent review found that bias exists in both major parties’ ideologies.

Biased researchers may look for patterns in diseases or symptoms that fit their pre-existing ideas about why people suffer from certain conditions. They may also choose weaker (or stronger) drugs or therapies depending on whether the sponsor of the drug goes along with the theories of the researcher.

This article will talk more in depth about some examples of this internalized bias in science and how to mitigate against it. However, one must acknowledge that there is no completely neutral piece of academic work. Every scientist comes into contact with data and knowledge that could potentially affect their view of the world.

Politics does not just shape individual views, but can also have wider reaching effects such as altering community norms and expectations. For example, before HIV was identified, many doctors believed that homosexuality caused AIDS due to the theory that gay men were rewashing dirty genitals after sex.

Political influence in the scientific revolution

how does politics influence scientific research

One of the most significant events that changed the way we understand our world is the so-called “scientific revolution” of the 17th century. This was the period when humanity transitioned from believing that there were innate, natural properties to matter that determined how it functioned to now where people understood that what makes up an object are your chemical components.

This new understanding had profound implications for society and individuals. It allowed us to identify disease agents and develop effective treatments and cures. People began to realize that by changing the composition of these chemicals, you can effectively treat or cure diseases.

Prior to this, many theories about health focused on internal sources such as passion or energy. Health was seen as something you either had or you didn’t have, and those with more of it were considered healthier than ones who weren’t.

A lot of these theories also emphasized balance and harmony, which made sense because they were born before science! So if you were hungry, you would be healthy; you would eat enough of everything. If you felt balanced, you were considered healthy.

With the emergence of the scientific theory of medicine around the 1700s, things started to change. Now, not only did experts know about internal sources of wellness, but they also knew about external factors like nutrition and their effects on human health.

Political influence in the growth of modern science

how does politics influence scientific research

One of the most important factors in the accelerated development of science is political patronage. This term refers to when an individual or institution grants scientific recognition, funding, or time to research conducted by someone else.

Political patrons are individuals or institutions that grant scientific credit to other people for work they have done. They often do this because they like the researcher’s personal qualities or believe that their research will help them gain public acclaim or financial reward for their own efforts.

By giving credit to others, the patron takes responsibility away from the recipient, leaving them with less incentive to conduct solid research. In addition, it creates an environment where quality control is limited– if you don’t agree with the lifestyle or politics of your sponsor, then you may be reluctant to put in as much effort into your work.

This system works well during times of stability, but not when there is significant change happening in the world. When societies are experiencing large shifts in power, values, and beliefs, scientific research can become politicized even more quickly.

For example, studies show that scientists who publish in higher-prestige journals are more likely to accept findings that support the social status and career opportunities of the journal’s editors.

On the contrary, researchers who pursue alternative theories might face discrimination and harassment due to their socially unpopular views.

Political influence in the development of quantum physics

how does politics influence scientific research

Recent studies have shown that political affiliation is a significant factor in how successful researchers are as professionals. This effect isn’t limited to physicists, but it seems particularly strong in this field.

Research has demonstrated that scientists with more liberal views are given better funding and promotions than their conservative colleagues. Even if a scientist doesn’t get promoted or funded, they may be assigned research projects that don’t require much oversight.

Furthermore, academic institutions that want to win a big grant often look for examples of success in developing theories that emphasize universalism (the idea that all humans are equal) over ones that challenge this assumption.

These theories may gain extra attention because they seem like they could appeal to popular opinion, which is sometimes seen as valuable in academia. Conversely, conservatives may struggle to find jobs and support due to bias and discrimination.

Political influence in the development of relativity theory

how does politics influence scientific research

Albert Einstein was one of the most influential scientists of all time. He studied physics at university, received his doctorate from Zurich University with a dissertation about light beams being deflected by moving objects, and then went onto have many other discoveries, including special relativity, general relativity, and the famous equation E=mc2.

However, not everyone knows that he actually struggled to get funding for his research. This is because some people believe that his political views made him appear like a riskier candidate for investment.

At this stage of his career, he was politically active as a member of the German Democratic Party (DAP). The DAP were considered far right so investing in their projects was seen as less likely to succeed than if they had been supported by another party.

Some sources say that his lack of success came down to these politics hurting his chances of getting funded. Others claim it was due to him not publishing enough papers or having too little control over what he published under his name.

Political influence in the development of the brain

how does politics influence scientific research

Recent studies suggest that political affiliation is linked to differences in how your brain functions. More specifically, there are theories suggesting that our beliefs and behaviors are influenced by what party we associate with most, and thus which policies seem likely to succeed.

Several studies have actually tested these theories using neuroimaging technology. Neuroimaging uses tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET) scans to measure blood flow to specific areas of the brain.

By scanning the brains of individuals who differ in their political affiliations, researchers can determine whether there are significant differences in neural activity and/or structure. These differences may be related to different perceptions of others, differing beliefs about important issues, and/or altered levels of motivation and engagement when campaigning for candidates.

Another area that has seen an increase in research is whether changing one’s political perspective changes the way you think. This theory suggests that people whose lives are heavily shaped by politics develop strategies to avoid being swayed too much by either side, creating a “blank slate” approach to thinking.

Political influence in the development of antidepressants

how does politics influence scientific research

Developing new treatments for mental health conditions is no easy feat. Pharmaceutical companies are not easily able to advertise their products directly, so research funding is limited.

Research and development costs can be very expensive, which makes it difficult for pharmaceutical firms to market new drugs unless they have strong enough evidence that the drug works.

That means we may still be using outdated medications with no real success until later, when technology allows for more efficient ways to administer treatment.

Newly developed therapies must also go through rigorous testing before being approved, which adds another layer of challenge in seeking better solutions.

Fortunately, there are some ways to mitigate political influence in scientific research. These include having independent researchers conduct studies, as well as having review panels made up of non-political members evaluate study designs and results.

But even those aren’t foolproof, nor are they always practiced in the field of medicine. What you can do to help ensure the best possible care for patients is to stay informed about all types of medical interventions and what has worked in past years.

Political influence in the development of vaccines

how does politics influence scientific research

Recent controversies surrounding vaccine safety have focused attention on how political forces can affect the process by which we, as a society, vaccinate or not immunize our children.

Political pressures to avoid vaccinations are growing worldwide. Many governments across the globe are experiencing a rise in non-vaccinating parents who choose not to expose their children to potentially life-saving medicines because they fear that it will hurt their child’s health.

Some people believe that all vaccines cause autism – an unfortunately common misconception. While there is no evidence demonstrating a link between any vaccine and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), many childhood vaccines are safe.

Nevertheless, some individuals feel very strongly about either side of this debate. In fact, several studies show that being exposed to certain antigens early in life may actually increase your risk for developing chronic diseases like asthma and allergies later in life. This knowledge could make it more difficult to convince parents to get vaccinated.

Furthermore, even if you do agree with the importance of vaccination, you might be reluctant to push these upon unwell children. What if something goes wrong?

Luckily, there are strategies healthcare professionals can use to counteract such pressures. By understanding why politicians and special interest groups tend to pressurise vaccines, and learning some ways to mitigate this pressure, we can help ensure that adequate levels of vaccination remain accessible to the community.

Political influence in the development of modern surgery

how does politics influence scientific research

One area that has been particularly susceptible to political influence is surgical research. Surgeons perform various procedures every day, from simple cosmetic surgeries to more complex ones like mastectomies or heart valve replacements.

Surgical technology has advanced dramatically over the last century, but there are some areas where surgeons still rely heavily on basic techniques built upon early experimentation.

One such example is ear surgery. There aren’t really any FDA-approved treatments for earwounds due to the risk of infection, so most plastic and reconstructive surgeons have developed their own approaches.

However, as Steven Epstein mentions in his article, many of these strategies are not very scientific. Some use dangerous chemicals to sterilize equipment, while others are just plain creative!

Another common technique is to take a piece of skin, fat, or muscle from elsewhere on your body and reattach it to close off the hole left by the wound. This is typically done with flaps of skin or small pieces of tissue connected through stitches or adhesives.

By this point you may be thinking, what does all this got do with politics? Well, one prominent surgeon who developed several of these “creative” techniques was Dr. John Galloway.

He spent years developing and promoting them, even publishing an entire book about one of his methods.