The politicalization of research findings has become prevalent over the past two decades. Politics often prevents the implementation of policy supported by irrefutable science. Most of us understand something about how this is happening with stem cell research, but Cornell’s Madelon Finkel delves deep into the subject to make the issues clear, also revealing how ideology and politics are distorting, diminishing and destroying scientific research results regarding topics from needle exchange, HIV/AIDS prevention and medical marijuana to antiobiotic use with animals later marketed for human consumption.
When ideology—whether it is the ideology of scientists and clinicians or of politicians—distorts scientific findings and public health judgment, public welfare is endangered, potentially affecting every person in our nation. Finkel also discusses how research is funded and how ideology has influenced that process. Numerous examples are given to illustrate the consequences of co-opting the scientific integrity of a program in this way.