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Science as a Political Practice

Science as a Political Practice

Persistence's picture

I want to respond to what Ariel said about how humans are narcissistic, self-centered beings. According to Freud, science allows us to make ourselves the ultimate being in which our world is built on "purpose and meaning imposed by human want and desire". Ariel mentioned how science as a subject tries to offer a humbling, subjective perspective. I believe that science has always been a political practice to shape the world. Not only has people used science as a mean to make ourselves superior than other species (e.g. how we're able to reason, the theory of evolution, etc.), but it has also shaped how we interact with each other among our own species. The HIV/AIDs epidemic is a great exmaple of how science can often change how the truth is articulated. The language of HIV/ AIDs has deliberately marginalized groups of people living with HIV, and those living in communities with high rates of HIV transmission throughout history.  A person is usually defined by the HIV virus he or she carries in his or her body by society.  The language of HIV stigma is fostered through the use of terminologies resulting in misidentification between HIV-infected people and people living with HIV. HIV was first known as a homosexul disease and women were also seen as vectors of HIV. Because of this view, studies excluded homsexuals and women from research of HIV/AIDs. This lead to misleading results and data that society took after as " scientific facts," but facts are really just artifacts. Eventually these "scientific facts" became a segway for HIV to become the most politcal disease in history. It becomes politcal when discrimination against people living with HIV are formed or when legal and political disadvantages surface and impede one's right to protect himself or herself from HIV.