I‘ve been contemplating an idea and want to know what you think. When researchers conduct experiments they are required to have permission from the participants. But our government (social policies and education systems) do not follow evidence-based practices. I never hear politicians from any party suggesting ideas based on scientific research–it’s always (both sides of the aisle) about what the public will like them for doing.
Often research shows that counterintuitive solutions are best for everyone. By not using evidence-based decision-making, politicians are effectively experimenting with human lives on a massive scale. There is tremendously beneficial information in peer-reviewed journal articles that show we can affordably and effectively reduce the following social problems:
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High School Drop-out rates
Drug use and addiction
Alcohol abuse and use by minors and alcohol addiction
That information is being ignored by the politicians.
So, the idea I’ve been contemplating is a constitutional amendment that mandates applying evidence-based research to solutions when it is available.
The mandate would not require research before action when research is not available, but when it is already available (and this affects a surprisingly large percentage of the social problems that exist) we use it instead of going off half-cocked with ideas that are based on popularity and not research. Today, the sexiness of an idea is more likely to determine its fate than science.
I’m working to raise grassroots awareness of the fact that solid science is being ignored by politicians and policymakers. I wrote Our Children Live in a War Zone to detail the research and solutions that are supported by research and being ignored.
I’m not talking about children in war-torn countries although the same research would benefit them. I’m talking about children in first world countries whose environments are as detrimental as a war zone due to poverty and violence.
Before I knew we knew how to help them it just felt tragic that so many children’s lives were less than we want them to be. Now, knowing we have scientific evidence that we can affordable help the children and we’re not doing it feels like child neglect on a national scale.
I believe humanity can be so much better than we’re being and millions (literally) of children who are living in rough circumstances can have better lives.