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Penninger, Josef

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Der Standard - Austria | 11/07/2011

Josef Penninger sees scientific method as key for democracy

Science allows us to question supposed facts and therefore makes a good basis for democracy, writes the geneticist Josef Penninger in the left-liberal daily Der Standard: "I say: Science has developed to such a degree that people have to take us absolutely seriously. We live in the age of genetic revolution and the development of new technologies that fundamentally change our lives, our industries and the way we live together. ... I am convinced that society can learn a lot from science: one of our key principles is to be open to new things, to discuss opposing viewpoints and make sensible decisions based on these discussions and on substantiated knowledge - even if those decisions are unpopular. Science conveys methods for solving problems and not believing everything one is told, but critically examining apparent facts. Are these qualities not the basis for democracy and a tolerant society in which one can have different opinions and be respected nonetheless?" 

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