October 10, 2009

Bad science and policy

BarnaclesPractical Ethics: Protecting our borders with snake oil - the recent Human Provenance pilot project debacle, where the UK Border Agency looked into using DNA data to determine the "true" nationality (as if genetics and ethnicity encoded national status), demonstrates that governments are very eager to buy scientific snake oil. Or more properly, want to adopt technologies that are *really* not ready for prime time. It is one thing to develop a new technology as needed, another thing entirely to try to apply something that has not yet proven itself.

I just fear that the public and policy-makers are less interested in getting real results and more in getting impressive actions done. How to get everyone to desire evidence based policy? It will cost resources, yet the savings will often be less clear.

Posted by Anders3 at October 10, 2009 01:10 AM