U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chastised the Republican Party on Wednesday for being “delinquent in embracing the science that people need be vaccinated.” Answering a follow-up question of whether Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, is a “moron,” she added, “I said in my earlier comments, ‘science, science, science, and science.’ On almost any subject you can name, science is the answer.”
While the speaker’s second answer failed to exactly answer the question asked, her comments are troubling on a couple of levels. One of them is the absence of specific scientific data, derived from substantive research, to back up her pronouncements. Of course, her lack of data does not mean there necessarily is none available, but it’s troubling the speaker didn’t feel any apparent need to include data in order to speak authoritatively about “the Science.”
This is the second — and more important — way her comments are troubling. “The Science,” regardless of the fact that it is so vaguely defined, apparently speaks with such universal authority (“on almost any subject you can name”) that we can deduce all manner of national policy from its ineffable pronouncements.