A new voice has been added to America's science policy debate. Its title combines two of my favorite words, Science Progress. It is being published by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. Citing in part editor Jonathan Moreno's introduction:
…at the risk of invoking a hackneyed reference to spirituality, we also believe that science occupies an exalted dimension, that the growth of reliable knowledge is in effect an expansion of consciousness. Science may not be the only path to a greater grasp of reality, but it makes a unique contribution to enhanced understanding of the cosmos and our place within it. To distort the process of inquiry amounts therefore to a narrowing of vision, a corruption of imagination, and a threat to our freedom as beings endowed with intellect.
It would be disingenuous to deny that the trigger for Science Progress is the sense among many that in recent years the respect for evidence and the spirit of open inquiry has been threatened for the sake of short-term political advantage. But the larger issue is the long-term national interest, which depends on the best evidence that only science can provide for commercial innovation, economic growth, military defense and the best possible array of intelligence options.
In the 21st century, more than ever, it is no exaggeration to assert that only free and rigorous inquiry and not authoritarian dogma can provide the reliable information required for our physical survival. Perhaps most important, progress in science is essential for a continued sense of our national purpose as participants in an historic experiment in freedom and self-governance, as one people joined by a common future rather than a common past, a future we cherish for the sake of the generations of Americans to come.
The goal of Science Progress is to help identify and realize the elements of that boundless American future. We hope this goal is manifest in our statement of mission:
Science Progress proceeds from the propositions that scientific inquiry is among the finest expressions of human excellence, that it is a crucial source of human flourishing, a critical engine of economic growth, and must be dedicated to the common good. Scientific inquiry entails global responsibilities. It should lead to a more equitable, safer, and healthier future for all of humankind (emphasis his).
Check out Science Progress here.