I also really dislike the idea that science is apolitical in general. Literally nothing is apolitical. Even the concept of something being apolitical is political.
Yeah like, literally everything about science is political.
There’s the obvious: funding structures (our money literally comes from the government guys, like i am literally paid by the NSF, which is funded as a part of the federal government), academic hierarchies, the politics of what research areas are in vogue, the politics of who gets the necessary education to even get the chance to work in science, all the issues of certain groups (i.e. white men) being viewed as more intelligent and more competent and more objective/impartial than others.
Did you know that there are things about the human body and it’s tolerances for extreme conditions that we know only because of Nazi experiments on living people in concentration camps? This data is often considered ethical to use because redoing the experiments is so deeply unethical. Tell me how that’s apolitical.
And there’s a lot of the obvious things like literally any study about gender differences in the human brain, or all the drug trials that used non consenting prisoners or black people or women in Puerto Rico because they were considered too risky to do on white people. Or Henrietta Lacks.
And sure, you can say that of course those are issues, but we don’t do that anymore and it’s just biology and medicine, which are messy human fields and not the pure fields like physics and chemistry. But a lot of the development of modern particle physics was driven by the development of nuclear weapons. Modern chemistry runs on the cheap byproducts of the oil industry.
But there’s also the less obviously political. We all carry around implicit, unconscious biases that we pick up from living in society. Most of the time it’s things we don’t even realize. These types of unconscious biases can and do influence how we view data. We may think we’re being objective but the vast majority of sciences carry the same set of biases (because academic science is a monoculture that abhors diversity), so we all end up viewing things in a similar way. And often times those biases have been baked into scientific thought for so long that we can’t even see them anymore, because they have influenced things that are now accepted as facts.
Science isn’t divided between the beautiful elegant process that uncovers facts about the universe and the messy humans who reveal that truth the world. Science is created by the scientists. Without us it wouldn’t exist. And we are inherently political beings.