Science and politics love stories

Viewed from ELSEWHERE – The virus bothers them. Experts and politicians are raising controversy. And yet, for centuries, they often had no choice but to cooperate. This is as true for epidemics as it is for many other regions.

William Burton at Pascal Martin (Evening)

In 1887, the young deputy Georges Clemenceau had this famous sentence: “War! It’s a very serious matter to hand over to the army”. He did not pay for the (good) words: after becoming president of the council in 1917, he would impose his choice in strategic matters on the French army.

Would aphorisms benefit from expanding into other areas: public health, for example? The debate about the role of “experts” revolving around political decision-makers revives in times of pandemics. That scientists give knowledge to a minister on technical matters and make a list of knowledge, there will not be many people to criticize them. Whether experts replace politicians, or whether science is helpful in the service of politics, is a matter of much debate. History teaches us in any case that confusion of roles can be disastrous.

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About the Author: Abbott Hopkins

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