Science and democracy

Susan M. Fitzpatrick, Robert Cook-Deegan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Susan M. Fitzpatrick and Robert Cook-Deegan critically review an article by Donna Gerardi Riordan titled, 'Research Funding via Direct Democracy: Is It Good for Science?'. The language used to sell Proposition 71 promises more than science can hope to deliver. Concluding a public referendum on a complicated issue fraught with scientific, ethical, legal, and social controversies should not be misinterpreted as giving people a voice. Given the forced choice of Proposition 71, a majority of the citizens of believing California money could accelerate the alchemic process whereby basic research yields medical treatments, voted to cure diabetes and defeat Alzheimer's. Attention may now turn to the serious coordination problem that follows from state research programs. The need for federal funding is arguably reduced in scientific areas where states and other countries have stepped in. Riordan focuses on the results of insulating the program from conventional state legislative and executive processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-20
Number of pages2
JournalIssues in science and technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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