Oxymoron of the day: political science

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are known by the educational acronym STEM. Rocket science, for example, would be considered a STEM discipline.

Political science, while it may sometimes draw on mathematics and statistical analysis, is not a STEM discipline. In fact, political science is an oxymoron.

Finding an acorn on the topic of political “science” is political “scientist” Jacqueline Stevens writing for the New York Times:

Political scientists are defensive these days because in May the House passed an amendment to a bill eliminating National Science Foundation grants for political scientists. Soon the Senate may vote on similar legislation.

More acorns are found.

It’s an open secret in my discipline: in terms of accurate political predictions (the field’s benchmark for what counts as science), my colleagues have failed spectacularly and wasted colossal amounts of time and money.

And even still more acorns are found.

Many of today’s peer-reviewed studies offer trivial confirmations of the obvious and policy documents filled with egregious, dangerous errors.

Her solution to the non-science of political science? Comically, it’s this: change the way the grants are done.

To shield research from disciplinary biases of the moment, the government should finance scholars through a lottery: anyone with a political science Ph.D. and a defensible budget could apply for grants at different financing levels. And of course government needs to finance graduate student studies and thorough demographic, political and economic data collection.

Hey, you find some (acorns), you fail to find some.

We salute you, oxymoron of the day, where you can proudly take your place with other previous winners (public servant, green jobs, Obama economy, Homeland Security, Presidential wisdom, government investment, blue state success, Senate Ethics Committee, Democrat elites, and more) on a long list.

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About Professor Mockumental

I enjoy almost all forms of parody, buffoonery, and general high-jinks. Satire has shown itself to be an essential societal need; I therefore humbly offer my services in such a manner. I enjoy mocking the usual suspects at the New York Times (Charles Blows, Moron Dowd, and the earth is flat guy) and Washington Post (Dana Milkbag, E.D. Dijon, and David Ignoramus). There are many others as well, but sadly, there are always too many targets and too little time.

Posted on June 25, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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