Carrying the flag of deductive reasoning and science advocacy, a pro-science think tank is being established in Washington DC: the Center for Inquiry. I would hazard a guess that this will be in the fine tradition of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Scientists and Engineers for America and Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science.
The brainchild of Paul Kurtz, founder of the Center for Inquiry-Transnational, the small public policy office will lobby and sometimes litigate on behalf of science-based decision making and against religion in government affairs.
The announcement was accompanied by release of a “Declaration in Defense of Science and Secularism,” which bemoans what signers say is a growing lack of understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and the value of a rational approach to life.
“This disdain for science is aggravated by the excessive influence of religious doctrine on our public policies,” the declaration says. “We cannot hope to convince those in other countries of the dangers of religious fundamentalism when religious fundamentalists influence our policies at home.”
It seems that scientists are heeding the call to stop acting merely as experts, and getting involved as policy advocates. Afterall, scientific facts must be accurately represented in formulating policy.