Science and Media Public Policy Essay

  • Length: 4 pages
  • Subject: Communication - Journalism
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #17467972

Excerpt from Essay :

S. interacts there. Without this influence public policy would be seriously challenged.

With regard to science there is a serious need for science and technology discoveries to influence public policy, as science feeds development and innovation. Public policy should demonstrate a real collaborative approach to aide in controlling scientific ethics as well as the possibility of innovation that might aide the whole of humanity. Science, like many other entities is largely self-regulated by a myriad of networks as well as simply by the scientists themselves and yet there are always cases where science does not do a good enough job policing themselves and needs the introduction of public policy to keep controls on ethical and moral actions in the name of science.

One example I can readily call to mind is stem cell research. Though I myself would take a looser stance than the Bush era law and public policy has with regard to this emerging science the need to help the scientific community put controls on the ethical standards of live tissue sampling is still evident. There should not be a mass generation of life simply to experiment on, any more than there should be allowances for human subjects to endure experiments that are fundamentally harmful to them. (Kaplan NP) Not to enter the debate on either side there is still a very clear sense that public policy should help science answer some difficult and enduring questions regarding stem cell research and especially regarding issues such as cloning and where stem cells can be gleaned from for scientific use.

Another example would be the reverse, in that in the above example there is the need for public policy to assist science, and in this example the reverse is the case. This second example is also a question of scientific ethics that is enduring and important. Science has been long calling for changes in the animal testing public policy. The questions at hand involve policy demanding the use of animals in certain types of scientific research even when it has been known for a long time that alternatives exist, and more are possible with further research and development. With regard to the relationship between science and public policy it is important to understand that public policy often determines funding for scientific research and funding makes the difference between research and no research and discoveries and no discoveries, especially with regard to publically funded and non-biased (non-industry) research a form of research that is absolutely essential to real progress in science. Because for many years funding has gone to research using live animals and not to research not using live animals scientists, even when they think its perfunctory still utilize live animals for testing. (Caras NP) Another important issue in this same line of thought is that some types of research (especially new drug research) requires live animal testing even if the scientists involved do not believe it is necessary. In this case science should demand the alternative to inform public policy, aide in reformulating laws regarding animal use in research and funding surrounding it. Finally science should demand funding of alternatives to live animals being used in research as scientists cannot self-regulate out of animal testing until changes are made in public policy.

In closing there is a real need and a present state of collaboration between public policy, media and science. In the sense of positive outcomes there is a real need for this collaboration and the media and science should inform public policy, yet there is also an important need for public policy to institute a consumer beware stance with regard to both science and media, as each needs to be properly placed in its rightful place as change agent, without overly influencing public policy.

Works Cited

Buskirk, Elliot.V. Thousands of NY Sex Offenders Booted From Facebook, MySpace Epicenter, December 2009, Web. http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/12/thousands-of-sex-offenders-booted-from-facebook-myspace/

Caras, Roger. "We Must Find Alternatives to Animals in Research." Newsweek 26 December 1988: 57.

Kaplan, Karen. Los Angeles Times Scientists to Congress: Pass the stem cell law ... while you still can, November 05, 2010 Web. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/05/news/la-heb-stem-cell-letter-to-congress-20101105

Krajicek, David J. Scooped! Media Miss Real Story on Crime While Chasing Sex, Sleaze, and Celebrities, New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

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