Recently I tweeted that the area I always tended to disagree with the Green party was its health and science policy (Jenny Jones, the Green Party’s candidate for London Mayor in the recent election caused controversy last week by voicing her support for a protest against a trial of a new strain of genetically modified wheat). Some took this as a dig against the science green party policy , but in actual fact I consider the GP science policy to be the best of any of the other major parties. Its progression is what allowed me to change my vote in the last election. If I disagree with any part it isn’t a criticism of the Greens policy, but more because it’s the subject I am most familiar/opinionated about with (being a biochemistry graduate). I am very open to debate in these areas, and I am able to alter my views if the evidence is there.
When I was at University, I remember watching Caroline Lucas talk – this was before her MP days and might have even been before her MEP days. I found a lot of her talk very gripping (as they always are!) but was dismayed that her only mention of science was the toxic levels of chemicals used in everyday objects (I remember some story about a towel) and in healthcare was that it needed to be more complementary – which at the time I saw as very basic and (if I’m honest) suggested to me that the party was “anti-science” or Luddite.
In contrast, when I read this article in The Guardian about Green science policy before the last general election, it fully transformed my vote from an anti-Labour protest vote to a party that I actually fully supported and wanted to be a member of.
Why do I think the Green party science policy is so good?
- It relies heavily on evidence based science (rather than personal opinion and party preferences – see David Nutt
- It recognises the importance of science and the necessity of funding
- It doesn’t ignore or support the massive wrongdoings of multinational companies (such as withholding negative clinical trial results)
- And of course it recognizes the need for renewables, the impact of climate change, and many other important environmentally related issues.
My point being that the Green Party science policy isn’t simply a “green” policy but actually has a strong evidence based policy. I may disagree with some areas of the policy or with opinions within the Green Party. For example I’m not against GM foods and I’ve no idea where I stand on nuclear power, but I believe the GP science policy is the strongest and most progressive out of any other party. As any scientist will tell you – the scientific process (and thus too the policy) should be based upon evidence.
I read @AdamRamsay’s post today (http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2012/06/greens-must-get-better-at-communicating-our-support-for-science/) and I agree that it’s so important for the Green party to promote the great science policy it has and constantly challenge the incorrect perception of the party being Luddite or anti-science.
You can read the Green party science policy here.