U of O Honors College Application Essay
Two University of Oregon faculty members, Bart Johnson of landscape architecture and Scott Bridgham of biology, are collaborating on research to predict the impact of climate change on Oregon habitats and to find ways to mitigate that impact with land-use planning. Collaborations between the basic and applied sciences are becoming increasingly common in dealing with environmental problems. What is the role of basic science in generating public policy, and why is it that science alone cannot solve many of these policy problems?
This was kind of an obscure essay topic, but I tried to answer it in a way that showed I could dive deeper into the question being asked. I hope I didn't go off course. What do you guys think? Also my grammar skills are poor so it's probably riddled with errors.
"Public policy that is created by science leads mankind towards solving even our most pressing problems. However when public policy manufactures science, the truth is ripped from the fact and we are left with hyped up deception.
While I don't believe in a new world order or that the moon landing was filmed on a closed set, I do believe that the public policy on global warming is based on skewed scientific facts. When the International Panel on Climate Change boasts about their 4000 scientists, I feel concerned. Put yourself in the shoes of one of those 4000 research scientists, you are competing against 3999 other scientists with similar credentials for a small number of IPCC funded research grants. If your research and computer models show that green house gasses have little to no effect on global climate then you are not going to be awarded that sought after research money. You might as well abandon your finding because the public policy will instantly dismiss it as false. However, what if you mistakenly enter a portion of data and your climate change model forecasts a 10 degree increases in global temperature over the next 50 years. You would jump to conclusions without scrutinizing you work. When you hastily present your finding to the IPCC, they would accept your work solely because it supports their public policy.
Global Warming is a good example of a public policy that has created the science that supposedly supports it. When public policy takes the place of scientific method for generating science theory, there is no truth behind the facts; I can just picture Galileo rolling over in his grave. While the global warming fad has been blown out of proportion, there are much more pressing environmental issues we face such as overpopulation and a monoculture based food economy. For the issues humanity is headed for, I see hope. I believe people will learn to see threw fads and I believe scientists will stand up for their work and not be swayed by the power of public policy."