In this weeks lecture, we learned how two very different entities, science and democracy, are, in fact, related. The manner in which a government rules its people can affect how, in that country, scientific processes are carried out. For example, in communist China, the party enforces the sharing of ideas, and inclusion of the masses when conducting experiments. While, in a democracy those strict guidelines do not exist, and intellectuals tend to be profit driven, fame driven or, knowledge driven.

These differences in regimes present different challenges in making scientific advancements. In a communist state, the obligation to involve many people means that not everybody participating in the scientific process will be qualified. For example, in lecture, my group discussed how a geoscientist would conduct research regarding animals and earthquakes. We concluded that in a communist state the geoscientist might have to reach out to village peasants who owned livestock, and rely on these townspeople to provide important observations. The problem with this, is that the peasants likely don’t have a background in science and the geoscientist might receive inaccurate information from them.

On the other hand, in a democracy, there are also political factors that limit scientific advancement. There is a lot of prestige surrounding the field of science, and as a result there is money to be made and fame to be acquired. This leads to the opposite challenge faced in the communist society. Instead of involving too many people, in some cases not enough individuals are involved in important scientific processes. Including additional intellects in one’s studies, could mean that they take from the potential profit and potential glory.

Although science and politics seem like very separate ideas, after looking deeper it becomes clear that they are deeply related. The structure of a government can greatly impact the productivity of scientific achievement.