Science is often seen as something that exists outside the realms of politics or religion, however, for Joseph Priestley the three were closely interconnected and integrated into each other. Priestley strongly promoted freedom of thinking and acting and believed that only after every point of difference had an opportunity of being fully canvassed would truth prevail (Johnston p. 147). With his innovations in developing gunpowder and the air pump, political powers were able to establish dominance with his help, however, at the same time his beliefs undermined the constitution of the English hierarchy and the teachings of religions which resulted in much controversary. Although strong in his faith to God, many of his scientific innovations undermined the teachings of religion and caused much tension between himself and the religious and political structures of his time. After entering America, Priestley expressed support on expanding libraries and laboratories which would further prevent the control of information by political powers and promote freedom of thinking (Johnston p. 208).
A large part of Priestley’s life was spent promoting the freedom of information and free thinking. Today people are allowed access to an unlimited and growing number of resources through the internet, the political consequences of which holds such great influence that certain countries have taken great strides to limit the flow of information. Some political structures have greater reason to control the access of information due to contradictions between science and their own constitutions. Similar to how English hierarchies feared and depended on scientific innovations during Priestley’s time, certain political constitutions today have great reason to fear the freedom and access of information as much as they rely on scientific innovation for political influence.