[Editor’s note: Marcel Kuntz is Research Director at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)]
Postmodernism is an ideology whose aim is to deconstruct Enlightenment values. Implicitly, postmodernism considers that scientists cannot be trusted, and that their research must be subject to a democratic process, more precisely to a ‘participative democracy’.
In a French example from 1998, while many recommendations of this ‘citizen conference on the use of GMOs in agriculture and in food’ were sound, the recommendations also stated ‘it would be good to focus on research aimed at creating, in some cases, sterile transgenic plants unable to reproduce themselves’. These same technologies were later vilified as ‘Terminator’ by anti-GMO activists and were not developed owing to an international outcry based on moral grounds. Significantly, neither this ‘conference’ nor the debates – open to stakeholders – organized by members of the French Parliament or Senate prevented the destruction of transgenic experiments.
Postmodernism is often confused with values of respect and democracy. However, science is not a matter of democracy – it is about the application of a method, and it is an elitist activity, open to all provided that one learns and applies the scientific method. Scientists should be able to ‘reflect upon and revise their own opinion’ without injunction from postmodern political correctness.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Scientists Should Oppose the Drive of Postmodern Ideology