Science: contemporary censorship



Publication Details

Martin, B. (2001). 'Science: contemporary censorship', in D. Jones (Eds.), Censorship: A World Encyclopedia (vol.4) (pp. 2167-2170). London: Fitzroy Dearborn.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Fitzroy Dearborn


Today the major censors of scientific work are governments, corporations and elite scientists. During the scientific revolution, the greatest threat to science came from the church, but those years are long past. Early science was also done mainly by amateurs, alone or in small groups using simple pieces of equipment, and this model of "little science" still prevailed until World War II. Since then, though, science has been "industrialised": it is characteristically done by teams using expensive apparatus. This requires substantial funding, which comes primarily from governments (including militaries) and large corporations. The groups with the greatest stake in this contemporary system are governments and corporations, naturally enough, plus elite scientists whose influence depends on satisfying their patrons, maintaining the flow of funds and protecting their reputations. Anyone who challenges these interest groups is a potential target for censorship or reprisal.

Please refer to publisher version or contact your library.