Politicians cannot judge solely on the basis of experience. They need advice from scientists to make good choices for our children

Politicians cannot judge solely on the basis of experience. They need advice from scientists to make good choices for our children

Discussion: What society will we end up with if politicians make decisions based solely on experience-based knowledge, and do not take into account scientific research that could shed light on children's developmental conditions in a more objective and systematic way?

  • May Irene Forenice

    Associate Professor of Educational Sciences, UiS

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This is a discussion post. The post was written by an external contributor, and quality assured by Aftenbladet's debate department. Opinions and analyzes are the author's own.

There is no doubt that politicians, like elected politicians, have power. Their power is demonstrated by the ability to issue laws and regulations that have an impact on various areas of society, including conditions affecting children. Thus, politicians, based on their positions, can make decisions that directly affect children and their upbringing. This means that politicians have the opportunity to set laws and rules that shape children's upbringing and life situation.

Injon Storksen and Marie Rigg
Extensive experience as researchers
It maintains a high international standard.

Recently I was able to read a comment by Solveig G. Sandelson in Stavanger Aftenblad, where she discussed the use of researchers in government-appointed committees dealing with the conditions of raising children in kindergartens and school. In his commentary, Sandelson notes that there are certain doubts about the role and legitimacy of researchers in such choices. This makes me wonder. A researcher is a person who, through his or her position, systematically examines and explores a particular topic within a specialized field. Thus, the researcher contributes to expanding knowledge and understanding of the world around us. Research is a continuous process where new knowledge is built on previously established knowledge bases and thus gradually evolves over time.

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Sandelson's question about why the field of practice is not included in such selections, and her concern that the same researchers are repeating themselves, can be interpreted as a downplaying of the scientific expertise that the researchers represent. Researchers have specialized knowledge and experience in their fields, and their collection and analysis of facts rely on scientific methods. This knowledge can be crucial in designing policy decisions related to children and their well-being. By basing political decisions on experienced knowledge, one risks relying on subjective experiences, which can lead to unreliable and incorrect decisions.

It is also worth noting that both Injon Storksen and Marie Rigg, mentioned by Sandelson, have extensive experience as researchers and maintain high international standards. Questioning its legitimacy essentially means questioning science itself. This makes me think about whether politicians should base their decisions on experience alone, without taking into account scientific facts and standards such as replicability, objectivity, testing of theory or hypotheses, openness and critical thinking.


Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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