Political Science

Out of the lab and into the streets.

Episode 221: Political Science: Out of the Lab and into the Streets by Distillations Podcast

On April 22, 2017, more than one million people in 600 cities around the world took to the streets in the name of science. Many were scientists themselves, and quite a few donned lab coats. Some were protesting for the first time. It was an unusual sight perhaps, but science has never been immune to politics.

“If we could imagine angels doing science maybe it wouldn’t be political,” says Liz Lopatto, science editor of the technology site The Verge, “But since it’s humans, it’s inescapable.”

Throughout the past century quite a few scientists have taken up political causes, but the tide of politics and science ebbs and flows, from the labs to the streets and back again. Now, after a period of relative quiet it seems to be flowing again. But this time it’s different. Sociologist Kelly Moore says, “I don’t know of any period in American history when scientists have felt the need to collectively defend science as a public good.”

Show Clock

00:32 March for science
02:14 Science as a noun, science as a verb
04:55 Science and politics throughout history


Hosts: Michal Meyer and Bob Kenworthy
Producer: Mariel Carr
Associate Producer: Rigoberto Hernandez
Additional Reporting and Production: Kyrie Greenberg 
Audio Engineer: Dan Powell


Original music composed by Zach Young. Additional music courtesy of the Audio Network.