Society functions at its best and it’s most efficient when specialization is utilized to its greatest potential. When we delegate different roles within society only to those who are the most qualified and experienced, we find ourselves progressing the fastest, however there is always an inherent dilemma with specialization. If we limit any field, like science, medicine, or politics, to only those who are proficient in those fields, we risk alienating the common, inexperienced, masses whose lives are affected by all of these fields. The essential question that we must consider is: Would we rather stuff get done quickly and efficiently, or would we rather slow the process by giving everyone a say? We cannot avoid this question when discussing the democratization of science because the truth is that the majority of advocates of Science for the People are not scientists and likely would not be able to write a research paper on any topic that they wish to have a voice in due to the high intellectual barriers of science.

Our society is currently experiencing a shift in who we want in charge, from the election of a reality television mogul to the white house, to a record breaking seven scientists being elected this very midterm to the United States Congress which has historically been dominated by wealthy lawyers, businessmen, or state legislators. I believe that the re-emergence of Science for the People in recent years can be linked to this societal change as Americans wish to break down the elitist barrier that they perceive exists around the highly intellectual field of science. Although the group began in the 1960’s with anti-war goals, it has evolved to demand social activism in science so that the general public can be involved in a field that could affect them. Connections can be made to the revolutionary rallying cry of “No taxation without representation” of the foundling American rebels who demanded a say in laws that applied to them; However there are critical differences between the British Empire and the Scientific Establish that fundamentally distinguish their relationships with the general people.

The government’s role is clear and defined as to serve all people under it, which leads to reason that the people should have a say in how their government is run and who gets to make the laws. The field of science, however, does not have a fundamental duty to serve the people. While scientific research often symptomatically benefits society, it is essentially a self driving field which has only the goal of hypothesis, experimentation, and theorizing for its own progression. Science, as it is not predisposed to serve the people, should be left independant from the unqualified masses who would only serve to slow its progress. The deprivatization of science runs the risk of delegitimizing the scientific process in a dangerous way, such as promoting anti-vaccination theories, or other pseudosciences. If ordinary citizens wish to influence the field of science, they can do so by electing more scientists or other members of society who can advocate for government funding of scientists to work independently, rather than attempting to institute democracy on an intellectually selective field.