Politicization of scholarship

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Ideological domination of research
Ideological resolution of scientific issues
Ethical resolution of scientific issues
Religious resolution of scientific issues
Misuse of democratic processes to resolve theoretical issues
Politicization of research

Because of the importance of scientific insight into certain problems faced by humanity, efforts are made by those with ideological commitments, who are concerned at the dimensions of such challenges, to obtain scientific sanction in support of ideologically acceptable positions in response to such challenges. Such initiatives can result in attempts to resolve prematurely certain scientific issues, on which research is still in progress, using methods of ideological discourse that are inappropriate.


Efforts have been made to resolve scientific issues on the nature of violence by obtaining a vote amongst members of academic societies. Scientists are then faced with the dilemma of whether to offend morally committed colleagues by appearing anti-peace or pro-sociobiology, so that any opposition is made to appear like advocacy of war. The exercise then becomes, in the absence of public debate, a ritual of good intentions, leading to the thoughtless acceptance of incompletely researched phenomena. Similar efforts have been made amongst psychiatrists to resolve the question of whether homosexuality constitutes normal or deviant sexual behaviour.


The refusal to take a stand is not itself a political stance, unless the issue in question is explicitly political where the act of taking a stance has political consequences for everyone. Such a refusal may mean nothing more than a decision to suspend judgement in anticipation of further evidence. Even in the light of overwhelming evidence, continued suspension of judgement can only be considered unscholarly, but not political.

Counter Claim:

Refusal to take a stance is itself a political stance.

Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
12.12.2017 – 12:41 CET