General, Research, Technology

Science is inseparable from politics: why are peaceful protests more effective than violent?

Almost any conversation about politics in anythe country of the world is able to develop into a real conflict between supporters of different views. It is for this reason that it is not customary to talk about politics during pitches. Moreover, today many take an apolitical position and do not want to know anything about what is happening around. However, such passivity, along with the inability to calmly discuss such important topics, does not lead to anything good. From this article you will learn why science is inseparable from politics and why the fate of the world is actually decided by a small minority.

Peaceful protesters in Hong Kong during the rain

Small talk (from the English small talk) - short, non-binding conversations that we conduct with a neighbor in the elevator or with an unfamiliar colleague at a party.


  • 1 Why is science and politics a single whole?
  • 2 Society controls the CTO
  • 3 Society controls HOW
  • 4 Society controls WHAT
  • 5 The involvement of society, politics and science
  • 6 Why can a small minority change the world?

Why is science and politics a single whole?

Science and, in particular, the scientific method arethe most objective way to discover the true nature of things. Thanks to science, today we launch rockets into space, treat once incurable diseases, communicate with each other while in different parts of the planet and even scroll the news feed on our gadgets senselessly. The scientific method is the golden standard of objectivity, which we synonymous with such words as “impartial” and “rational”, separating it from our human whims.

The scientific method is a system of values, categories,regulatory principles, samples, justification methods, etc., which guide the scientific community. The method includes methods for studying various phenomena, systematization, as well as updating new and past knowledge.

The scientific method is used to minimizebias and maximize objectivity. This is logical and rational. However, scientific organizations very often pretend that science has nothing to do with politics, despite the fact that participation in scientific research itself is a social and political activity. Imagine for a moment that today you have to create a new country. You have to do some things by default, for example, come up with new laws. But financing science when creating a country is not a default position, but a decision that we make as a society and continue to revise it as new political decisions and the budget are made. Science has been associated with politics since a person first thought it would be nice to conduct a study, and then convinced his neighbors to give him money for it.

Thanks to science, scientists have learned to curb outbreaks of dangerous diseases around the world.

Moreover, research is not carried out invacuum, they can only happen with the permission of society. This means that science is a de facto political institution governed by society and subordinate to its political will.

Society controls CTO

The decision about who will be involvedpolitics or science historically takes society. So, we all know very well that due to their color or belonging to a certain gender or race, in the past a large number of talented people were not able to engage in either science or politics. The bias of society, about which much is written in the world press today, put women on the path of greatest resistance in their desire to become scientific and political figures. It was as a result of public control that the names of prominent scientists, for example, Esther Lederberg, who discovered the bacteriophage lambda, or Lise Meitner, who literally cracked an atom, were discharged from textbooks and they had to silently watch their male colleagues receive the Nobel Prizes.

Democracy is a political system based on the method of collective decision-making, which will equally affect all participants, the outcome of the process and its significant stages.

Need to remember the ability of societycontrol who can become a scientist. Even today, in some countries of the world, women are deprived of the opportunity to engage in scientific research, not to mention the opportunity to build a political career.

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Society controls HOW

There is also the issue of public control overhow research is going on. The fact is that scientists are also susceptible to cultural and other characteristics of society, like everyone else. And if maniacs or control freaks come to power in a particular country, such monstrous concepts as Lysenkoism and the superiority of one race over another are born.

Control freak (from the English. control freak) - a person who seeks to control as many processes around him as possible. This is an unofficial concept in psychology, however, quite common.

Trofim Lysenko on the left, Academician Vavilov on the right,against whom the criminal case was fabricated. He died in prison in 1943, rehabilitated posthumously. The Vavilov case is the most widely discussed in the history of world science.

Not so long ago, naturalists and anthropologists in Germanybelieved that "science" justifies the destruction of those who are representatives of the lower race. In the USSR, objectionable scientists were persecuted, and the results of scientific research were destroyed. In the United States, hallucinogenic drugs and harmful chemicals were given to ill-knowing and unsuspecting patients to conduct mind control research.

These days, ethical and moral changes inmost countries of the world have led to the fact that human security, his well-being and health are placed above the search for answers to certain scientific questions. However, public memory is short-lived, and therefore modern society should in every way prevent any attempt to put pressure on scientists, preventing them from doing their job, and also not allow government officials to classify the results of scientific research. Let me remind you that last year the Ministry of Education and Science came up with an initiative to limit the communication of Russian scientists with their foreign colleagues. Fortunately, this proposal was not to anyone's taste, but this does not mean that there are no more threats.

Society controls WHAT

So we come to the most interesting thing - society decides, what kind knowledge scientists are allowed to receive and disseminate. The Vatican, as you know, imprisoned Galileo and forced him to renounce his scientific claims that the Earth revolves around the Sun. For this he was not burned at the stake. Under Stalin, the Soviet leadership supported the pseudo-scientific ideas of Trofim Lysenko, who rejected the basic principles in biology. This led to the emergence of Lysenkoism. Today, the term is used to refer to the manipulation of a scientific process to achieve ideological goals. Unfortunately, Lysenkoism seems increasingly relevant these days.

Political regime is a combination of methods andthe means by which state elites control the economic, ideological and political power in the country. As a rule, this is a combination of the party system, voting methods and decision-making principles that form the country's specific political order for a certain period.

Of course, control over which studiesscientists can carry out by no means a mysterious phenomenon that ended in the collapse of communism. In 2001, President Bush introduced a ban on government funding for research on embryonic stem cells, which stopped the potential development of a cure for many diseases. The US president explained his position with deep convictions. In turn, international experience shows that the more the state spends on financing research, the better the everyday life of citizens becomes.

Climate change threats may help world leaders unite

Today the issue of financing science is acuteworldwide. So, Donald Trump does not seek to finance research in the field of climate, air and the environment, since he does not believe in global warming. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaru, in turn, is not at all concerned about the problems of the Amazon basin and the raging forest fires, unlike the budget and personal finances. The Chinese government does not intend to significantly reduce the production of a wide variety of goods, which is why millions of citizens are forced to breathe polluted air. And the Russian leadership continues to ignore scientific research that the construction of incinerators throughout the country will cause the development of diseases and premature death of a huge number of people.

The involvement of society, politics and science

By its example, history has already shown thatsociety shapes politics, politics controls science, and science informs both society and politics. This is not new information, but some of us refuse to recognize the close relationship between society, politics and science. Indeed, many scientists today do not show any political activity. However, back in the middle of the last century, prominent scientists publicly expressed their opinions and took an active part in resolving political and social issues.

Authoritarianism is a political regime in which the bearer of power himself proclaims his right to power. Authoritarianism is often combined with autocracy and dictatorship, but not always and not necessarily.

Albert Einstein in his 1946the eloquent essay “The Negro Question”, which he described as “the disease of white people,” spoke about racism in the United States. Later, during the Cold War, scientists did not shy away from political activity. The American Association for the Development of Science (AAAS) openly opposed the Vietnam War, and Carl Sagan talked about the dangers of nuclear proliferation in the Reagan era. In the USSR, many scientists were not afraid of persecution and repression and openly expressed their opinions on important social and scientific issues. Today the whole world knows the names of Soviet dissidents Andrei Sakharov, Zhores Medvedev, Alexander Bolonkin, Konstantin Babitsky and many others.

Which scientists in Russia and in the world today make political statements? Let's talk about this in the comments and with the participants of our Telegram chat

In many ways, the line between science andpolitics, if at all, has already been blurred. There are scientific concepts supported by a vast array of evidence that is now inherently politicized not because of disagreements in the scientific community, but because they threaten the agenda of one of the parties. Think about climate change or evolutionary theory. Meanwhile, the scientific method is a wonderful tool for creating verifiable information; it expands the boundaries of our knowledge and challenges preconceived notions of what reality is. Science helps us live longer, healthier and enrich our lives. Therefore, science is inseparable from politics and society.

Why can a small minority change the world?

There is nothing permanent in our world. So, over time, borders and heads of state change. And when it comes to changing the political system in a particular country, science cannot be dispensed with. To anticipate the possible paths of events, it is necessary to stock up on a huge array of data, analyzing which and comparing with specific situations, we can draw conclusions.

Peaceful protests still work all over the world

Autocracy is a transitional stage from democracyto a totalitarian regime and vice versa. In this form of government, unlimited control of power belongs to one person or group of people, like a parliament or a presidential republic.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989Western democracies were delighted with the global victory of market liberal systems. Decades of the Cold War have passed. The logic of markets, rights and contracts prevailed. However, authoritarianism has returned in the past decade, as evidenced by the Freedom in the World 2019 report. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have consolidated their power in Russia and China. In the post-Soviet space, the heads of state are mainly immigrants from the Politburo. Hungary, Turkey and the Philippines dealt with the opposition, as well as the leaders of Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Many countries in the Middle East today are authoritarian regimes. But is it possible to resist the spread of authoritarianism, which always neglects the value of human life?

Studies offer a simple answer: The most effective opposition to authoritarianism is peaceful protests. According to the results of the work carried out by Erica Chenovet from the School of Public Administration. John F. Kennedy at Harvard University and Maria Stefan of the US Institute, the democratic movement will be successful if at least 3.5% of the population takes part in the protests over a long period. When millions of civilians take to the streets, they really can change the power in the country.

A totalitarian regime or totalitarianism is a political regime implying absolute state control over all aspects of society and private life.

In a large-scale study, Chenovet and Stefananalyzed 323 political and social movements that challenged repressive regimes from 1900 to 2006. It turned out that peaceful mass demonstrations are very noticeable, and therefore it is impossible to ignore them. The cooperation of protesters with universities, trade unions, the media, sports teams and even the military gives superhuman strength to peaceful protests. The fact is that seeing the millions of citizens in front of them, most of the soldiers do not want to suppress the protest, as there are members of their families, friends, colleagues and neighbors in the crowd. Protest movements attract the largest and most diverse segments of the population when protests remain non-violent, and the main requirements are justice, democracy, the absence of cruelty and corruption.

In turn, armed conflicts and bloodyrevolutions are half as effective and in most cases doom countries to a second round of authoritarianism that flows smoothly (but not necessarily) into totalitarianism and vice versa. It turns out that until seemingly insignificant 3.5% of peaceful citizens go out onto the street, the sad history of some countries can be repeated again and again.