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Opinion

Opinion: Why science really is a liberal conspiracy

LOS ANGELES-CA-APRIL 22, 2017: People participate in the March for Science Los Angeles in Los Angel
People participate in the March for Science in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday.
(David McNew / For The Times)

To the editor: Lately, the Internet has been serving up ads for T-shirts stating, “Science is not a liberal conspiracy.” That’s wrong. (“‘We need to be out here': Thousands march in downtown L.A. to support science in the Trump era,” April 22)

Roughly speaking, the skepticism and belief in facts at the root of science emerged out of the period of the European Enlightenment, and they are most highly valued under the political philosophy of liberalism. The word “conspire” comes from the Latin “to breathe together.” The tacit agreement that experimentation and objective observation will be brought to bear on societal issues is a conspiracy of particular cultures, and not inevitable.

Of course, there are reasons to be skeptical of science. There is “junk science,” including opposition to vaccination. There is “scientism,” which is the urge to apply the methods of science to any and all issues. Despite these abuses, it is clear that science remains an arrow in the quiver of liberalism.

So, liberals, if you value the fruits of science, keep conspiring.

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Timothy Cunningham, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: I proudly participated in the Fullerton March for Science. For the second time in the first 100 days of the Trump administration, people around the world demonstrated against the shortsighted policies of this government.

How did President Trump respond to this? He said, “My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks.”

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Does he think gutting the Environmental Protection Agency and other departments that do serious research will help?

Barbara Rosen, Fullerton

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