As we have seen, science is an incredible tool for understanding our world. It has allowed us to learn about everything from planets to viruses to bones.
By studying how things work, we are able to create products that help people improve or maintain their health. For example, research led to the development of x-ray machines, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, and blood tests to check for diseases like HIV and hepatitis.
There is also a growing field of “personalized” medicine, where doctors test patients’ DNA, RNA, and other molecules in order to determine what treatments will work best for them.
But before those benefits can be enjoyed by everyone, there must be more researchers! Unfortunately, many young scientists cannot afford to pursue their dreams due to limited funding.
Fortunately, you do not need to be a professional scientist to contribute to this cause! By volunteering your time for underfunded scientific projects, you can still make a difference while educating yourself at the same time.
Here are some opportunities you can take part in.
Examples of research being suppressed
Recent examples of academic fields that have seen their work heavily censored or even banned include psychology, sociology, anthropology, criminology, law, economics, political science, gender studies, media studies, communication studies, history, literature, and many more.
These disciplines are all related in some way because they share a common goal — understanding how humans interact with each other and influence one another.
By censoring research within these areas, we lose important insights into our society and the ways it functions. This goes beyond simply not accepting an argument either; by banning certain topics completely, you prevent anyone with the knowledge of this topic from working in it.
For example, someone who wants to become a psychologist can’t learn about sex roles in early childhood development or about evolutionary theories of motivation unless she is willing to put her career on hold indefinitely.
Academics in these areas must also be careful about what concepts and terms they use, as those words could land them in trouble later if someone feels they are using them wrong. For instance, “racist” has increasingly come to mean any person whose opinions differ from theirs, which doesn’t quite fit the definition the word had when it was first used.
Sensationalist headlines contribute to creating a culture where people feel threatened and scared instead of informed and educated, which only creates more division and anger.
What is the government doing to suppress research?
Recent events show that our federal lawmakers do not want us to know what they are doing in their pursuit to keep us safe.
Recent events include reports of congressional staffers being barred from reading certain documents due to them knowing too much about how the government works. Others report having to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s) before receiving restricted information or even verbal warnings for violating such an agreement.
These NDA’s are typically enforced by lawyers, which only adds onto the cost of doing business for researchers and professionals in the science field.
This comes at a time when we as humans need all the knowledge possible to stay healthy and survive natural disasters. Who wants to invest money into studies that can’t be published because of restrictive NDAs?
It seems like every day there is another story about some new revelation that most people don’t have access to. We need this knowledge so that we may live out lives more healthily than ours did before.
Who is affected by the suppression of research?
As mentioned before, this unethical practice mostly affects young scientists that are trying to break into their field. It can also have long-term effects on the progress of science as a whole, since these researchers may not continue conducting studies due to fear of retribution.
By limiting access to scientific information, those in power prevent free discourse, which is crucial for developing new ideas. This limits our understanding of the world we live in.
Furthermore, it creates an atmosphere where only people with enough money or political clout enjoy success, leaving out many others who could use such knowledge to thrive.
What can you do to help?
Recent events have highlighted just how much censorship there is in our society, both online and offline. This includes bans and restrictions on what types of content are allowed to exist, as well as limitations placed on who is able to access certain information.
All this comes down to one thing – money!
By limiting the availability of or ability to get information that some people feel is “unacceptable”, those with power take away an important tool for self-examination and challenge of the status quo.
This not only limits opportunities to learn about harmful practices, it also deprives us of knowledge about more successful alternatives. In turn, we are less likely to make informed decisions when choosing between different health interventions and strategies.
Research that should be suppressed
Recent trends in social psychology have been termed ‘darkness studies’ because they focus on finding ways to create internal darkness or silence within individuals, groups, and/or societies.
This research is often framed as an effort to bring about negative change for the sake of changing things for the worse. However, this argument fails to acknowledge the true purpose of the scientific endeavor — to learn more about our universe so we can better understand it and achieve greater utility from it.
By discouraging certain behaviors and attitudes, these darkness studies may actually do the opposite by creating healthier cultures and environments.
There are several reasons why this practice is misguided. First, darkness does not necessarily lead to bad outcomes. Second, even if dark experiences contribute to negativity, limiting them limits understanding how humans function. And third, some people need darker contexts to feel safe.
Instead of trying to eliminate these elements, we could instead explore what types of darkness help us thrive and develop strategies to use darkness constructively. This article will discuss some examples of psychological darkness and their uses.
Research that should be supported
Funding for research that investigates how disease or other physical conditions work is very important, as it helps us understand what causes diseases and ways to prevent them.
Research about why some people are more susceptible to certain health issues than others is also extremely valuable. For example, studies have shown that people with higher levels of glucose (a simple sugar found in blood) tend to get sick more often due to an overproduction of inflammation-causing chemicals.
Inflammation has been linked to many chronic illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. So, researchers try to find ways to reduce patients’ glucose levels to see if this reduces their risk of getting these serious health problems.
There are several drugs already approved by the FDA for doing just this — something almost everyone can agree on! But there are never enough resources to fund all of the different studies needed to make sure the drug is safe and works, let alone keeping up with the constant changes in dosage and timing.
So, what happens when you run out of funding? Researchers must choose which questions to pursue and possibly turn down opportunities because they don’t have the money to study them. This could mean we miss out on knowledge that would help keep individuals healthy and save lives.
It is essential that we maintain adequate financial support systems for academic medical centers so that new ideas do not suffer from lack of resources.
Science is important for society
As we have seen, science has an incredible power to change the world for the better. It can help us understand our universe more thoroughly, empower us to make healthier decisions, and improve the quality of life by replacing false beliefs with true ones.
But there are also times when scientific research threatens people’s lives or perpetuates harmful stereotypes and inequalities. When this happens, it becomes clear that conducting and publishing scientific studies is not always good for the greater good.
It is worth noting here that many researchers go beyond merely questioning whether their study design was ethical and appropriate; they may actively question the value of their own work or those like theirs.
This can result in self-censorship or even academic resignation — things that should never be necessary in the field of science.
Keep an eye on government agencies
As mentioned before, there are several ways that governments prevent or restrict research. Creating restrictions for research can be done overtly through legislation, such as requiring ethical approval, or covertly by not providing necessary resources or funding.
Overt bans include laws that prohibit certain types of research or that require ethics review, but more often than not, these regulations are impossible to comply with effectively. This is due to either too much bureaucracy preventing people from doing the work or it being written in vague terms that cannot be enforced properly.
Covert limitations occur when resources are limited (no equipment, medicine, or fuel) or money is not given for proper execution of the study. These are even easier to circumvent since you do not need permission to perform the experiment!
There have been many examples of this across different fields and sectors. Pharmaceutical companies must balance their desire to make large profits while ensuring that their products work and are safe. They face constant pressure to produce studies that show how effective their drugs are so they can keep selling them.
A similar situation exists for food manufacturers- they must ensure that what they put into their products is healthy enough to sell, while at the same time trying to promote them as health foods.
Bans and limits on research only hinder the progress of science and our understanding of the world around us. It also creates a environment where only certain groups are allowed to pursue ideas, creating even more segregation.