Die Seuche der politischen Einflussnahme

Ebenso wie Bürger anderer Länder dieser Welt, haben die Amerikaner zur Kenntnis genommen, dass die Politik bei der Besetzung bestimmter öffentlicher Ämter eine wichtige Rolle spielt. Nur wenige sind überrascht (obgleich manchmal enttäuscht), wenn die Bestellung eines hochrangigen Richters oder Diplomaten nach erfolgter Feststellung seiner Loyalität zu bestimmten politischen Prinzipien der Partei des Präsidenten oder Ministerpräsidenten erfolgt. Es herrscht allerdings beinahe völlige Übereinstimmung darüber, dass die Wissenschaft eine Sonderstellung einnimmt. Die Vereinigten Staaten beginnen sich in dieser Hinsicht allerdings zu einem warnenden Beispiel für den Rest der Welt zu entwickeln.

Ernennungen im Bereich der Wissenschaft sollten auf objektiven Kriterien wie Ausbildung, Fähigkeiten und Leistung beruhen. Natürlich ist es legitim, einen zukünftigen amerikanischen Gesundheitsminister zu seiner Meinung über die Abtreibung zu befragen. Aber es ist völlig unangebracht, Mitglieder wissenschaftlicher Beraterstäbe einem Test ihrer politischen Loyalität zu unterziehen. Ebenso sollte die Mitgliedschaft in Peer-Review-Gremien - einer zentralen Einrichtung für den wissenschaftlichen Fortschritt - absolut frei von Beitrittshindernissen sein, die nicht mit wissenschaftlicher Qualifikation in Zusammenhang stehen.

Unglücklicherweise werden Wissenschafter in den USA immer häufiger mit Hindernissen dieser Art konfrontiert. Im letzten Herbst veröffentlichte das Wissenschaftsmagazin Science mehrere Artikel zu diesem Thema.

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