Science-based concept of a good world
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Science-based concept of a good world is an overall concept about how the society, or the world at large, should be organised in such a way that people in general could live happy and resourceful lives without compromising the needs of others. The concept is based on an assumption that by means of the scientific method, it is possible to obtain good solutions to this problem. According to the science-based concept of a good world, the role of science is to support policy making at all levels of the society by building on best available knowledge and means. In this context policy is to be understood in an abstract sense as a principle or guideline for action in a specific everyday-world context. Policies are implemented in different sectors of the everyday-world, such as public agencies, the civil society or the private sector.   Even if it were not even possible to find ultimate single solutions to problems by means of science, the approach is useful in identifying and rejecting many policies that apparently fulfill the objectives stated by the society, but actually do not hold against scientific criticism. Science-based policy would thus be beneficial in avoiding many political and societal mistakes.
There could also be even more profound importance of the approach. Is it so that the possible science-based concepts tend to converge to a limited set of solutions? If this is true, then it were even more important to take the science-based concept as the guiding rule of the policy-making as this would result in policies not only being good policies, but also predictable policies. In this case, anyone could try to find solutions that converge to the scientifically-reasoned policies, and it were significantly easier to predict which direction the actual policy-making is eventually going. This would provide a great advantage in a free-market world, as this pave the way for market efforts to aim at the same values as are expressed in the society, and to develop practical tools for implementing the well-founded and predictable policies.
Information about solutions is a powerful means of supporting effective action, but:
- The information must be about true solutions to real problems.
- The information must be available to and understood by the decision-makers.
- The information must be available to and understood by those who control those who make decisions (in a democracy, the citizens).
- The decision-makers must know that the citizens known what they should do and expect them to do it.
Science-based concept of a good world should not be confused with technocracy. Instead, it is an idea that is founded on open direct democracy. Although the current practice of science is quite opposite to its ideal of being a completely open endeavor, the science-based concept of a good world builds on that ideal. The possibilities of global open collaboration, unconstrained by limitations in time and space, provided by the modern communication technology, enable unlimited participation in developing policies based on best available knowledge and means. Conversely, the best available knowledge and means are not a limited set of entities in the reach or control of only few, but dispersed among the society. Science-based concept of a good world thus both enables and necessitates openness. It is a concept closely related to that of Open society contemplated by e.g. Henri Bergson and Karl Popper , but also that of open research, attempting to compile them into a functional operationalization of direct democracy, and institutionalization of using scientific means and methods to support decision making upon societally relevant matters.
Some of the main hindrances in moving towards open global systems that aim for what is portrayed by the science-based concept of a good world are the societal practices of rewarding people for their actions. Typical examples are in particular monetary rewards, but also rewarding scientific merit, which both have a common tendency of often directing the actions of members of society astray to aiming for goals, or choosing means for achieving these goals, whose societal acceptability would easily be rejected in an open systematic scrutiny. A more general and open rewarding system based on respect is needed to support open collaboration according to the science-based concept of a good world. Both a respect theory and a respect currency to operationalize the theory, need to be developed.
- Clark, T. 2002. The policy process: A practical guide for natural resource professionals, Yale University Press.
- Pohl, C. 2008. From science to policy through transdisciplinary research. Environmental Science and Policy. Elsevier.
- Popper, K., "The Open Society and Its Enemies, Volume One", Routledge (1945, reprint 2006), chapter 10 part I