Abstract: While science and politics operate according to different logics, they have become considerably intertwined over time. Two opposing, but interrelated, developments can be observed in this regard: on the one hand, a scientization of politics, since science is increasingly relied upon when political and social challenges are being addressed, manifest in the increasing involvement of experts and scientific (policy) advisors; on the other hand, a politicization of science, because of the increasing influence of political decision makers on the objects, methods and processes of scientific research and funding. Both developments are accompanied by clear risks, and open debate is needed about what scientific evidence – which is often expressed and mediated by means of numbers – can realistically do in and for politics. This is especially true at a time characterized by widespread distrust of experts and even facts, and a re-ideologization of politics that is perhaps best captured by the popular expression of “post-truth politics”.
Keywords: Science, numbers, politics, post-truth politics, alternative facts, scientization of politics, politicization of science, evidence