Publication Details

Martin, B. (2014). Dissent in science. In B. S. Steel (Eds.), Science and Politics: An A-to-Z Guide to Issues and Controversies (pp. 145-149). Los Angeles: Sage.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Brian Martin

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9781452258102


Dissent is questioning or challenging an established idea, practice, or policy. It occurs in all sorts of areas. For example, people can dissent against wars, school rules, or evolutionary theory. Dissent is usually expressed in words, for example in blogs, articles, and speeches, but it can also be expressed in actions or at events, such as a protest rally. Dissent in science can refer to challenges to dominant scientific theories and also questioning of priorities or practices within science, for example, questioning whether a person should have received the Nobel Prize or whether Nobel prizes are a good idea at all. Dissent can have political ramifications, especially in controversial issues such as climate change and genetic modification.