¿Ha llegado a ser demasiado pública la política pública?

En 1897, la Cámara de Representantes del Estado estadounidense de Indiana aprobó por unanimidad una legislación que daba una nueva definición del valor de pi , constante matemática que representa la relación entre la longitud de la circunferencia de un círculo y la de su diámetro. Por fortuna, el proyecto de ley no pasó del Senado de ese Estado.

Esa anécdota histórica podría inspirar una risita sardónica a quienes recuerden sus matemáticas del bachillerato, pero en todo el mundo se está pidiendo cada vez más a personas inexpertas que formulen una política pública que requiere una comprensión de fenómenos científicos y tecnológicos complejos y sutiles.

"¿Cómo se sabe si una ballena es un mamífero o un pez?", pregunta una maestra a su clase de tercer curso". ¿Votamos?", dice, contento, un alumno. Esa propuesta puede ser divertida por proceder de un niño, pero no tiene la menor gracia cuando la aplican los gobiernos, como hacen cada vez más, a políticas complejas que entrañan fenómenos científicos y tecnológicos.

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