Research to sway policy makers?

in #social2 years ago


If you imagined academic journals in the social sciences are supposed to be impartial forums offering a diverse dialogue in unbiased research, think again. Their role, explained here, is to guide otherwise ignorant policymakers into producing better outcomes for "society," such as saving the planet and ending inequality:

"In the world of academic journals, editors are the gatekeepers of their discipline. . . But beyond furthering the field and maintaining a journal’s high standards, editors can use other criteria when choosing which papers to publish, including whether a paper’s findings can guide policy makers in forming policies that achieve better outcomes for society."

Smart editors know which policies achieve better outcomes. You and I do not. Neither do policymakers.

It is not terribly difficult to figure out which policy preferences they prefer by looking at what gets published. Would they publish a cost-benefit critique of the waste in climate change expenditures? Would they publish a study finding huge dynamic efficiency costs from "redistributing" incomes and wealth away from those who provided society with risk capital and entrepreneurial skill?

Editors and publicists who really believe their mission is to "guide policy makers" may, at times, feel overconfident about how best to do that. It's a subtle form of censorship, but arguably as harmful as others.


These journals are funded largely by powerful interests like Bill Gates, who also funds the WHO, so much of their output is just to make these people happy. I don't think they are interested in good policies at all, but only their donors. There isn't any conclusive science when it comes to climate change anyway... it's a dangerous game they're playing (but I don't listen anymore).