PANDA envisions healthy flourishing societies that value personal sovereignty, where free exchange of ideas is encouraged, and decentralised innovation is fostered across all domains.
PANDA aims to promote transparency and open discussion in science, public health, and the wider aspects of society .
Science thrives by challenging orthodoxies and assumptions. Explanations succeed or fail in the real world through the process of conjecture and criticism. Over time, we replace bad explanations with better ones in an unbounded process. To derail this process through censorship or propaganda is to stifle science and progress.
Freedom of Speech
We value the right of people to express opinions and we oppose the censoring of alternative views, recognizing that knowledge evolves over time through open debate and broad participation.
Propaganda involving deception, censorship and other forms of ‘non-consensual persuasion’ runs contrary to well-established principles governing both scientific and democratic debate.
Propaganda is frequently deployed as a tool of manipulation by powerful political and economic actors. So far as is possible, we must help people understand the pernicious role that propaganda plays in our societies and find ways of strengthening people’s ability to identify it so as to avoid being manipulated.
Sovereignty and Governance
PANDA believes that subsidiarity in decision-making is essential in governance, prioritisation, and the interpretation and application of knowledge and societal norms.
This principle is essential to avoid the pitfalls of accumulation of power through centralisation by encouraging: independent thought; greater innovation and creativity; better peer review with less potential for group-think; healthy competition; greater accountability and less opportunity for amplifying errors in judgment and decision making, opportunism, corruption or cronyism.
Despite a perceived risk of lesser efficiency, in an increasingly technological global world, the checks and balances afforded by a more distributed system of organisations is essential for self-correction and maintaining the organic ethical and moral principles of an ever-evolving heterodox society.
Hence, where any centralised bodies are necessitated to support supranational cooperation, they must in turn be subject to greater scrutiny and be fully subsidiary to the people and the local structures whom they represent.
Human societies are complex. Policies that may profoundly reorder social systems should be undertaken only under an exceedingly high burden of proof with clear and open community participation, a clear evidence base and close and transparent monitoring.
All people have a right to seek good health and quality of life, and have sovereignty over decisions regarding direct interventions impacting their own health. PANDA believes this is fundamental to individual wellbeing and societal function.
Health practitioners, including physicians and public health personnel, have a role in accurately informing and guiding health decision-making, but have no right to coerce or require health interventions against the will of an individual.
PANDA’s comprehensive principles of Public Health can be found here.