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A Scientist's Responsibilities

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Introduction

A Scientist's Responsibilities 1. In the article "A Scientist's Responsibilities", Chris Quigg writes about science in general and deals with subjects such as the issues of scientific knowledge in our society today and the study of science. He points out that educated people is important for our society, but we also have to remember the limitations, science alone can not solve the problems of world, for example we have to have skilful politicians, who are able to deal with moral issues; the morality can not be learned through science. The scientific moral comprise the fact that the discoveries must be made intelligible for the common population. He also talks a lot about the scientific method, where the nature is essential. The best way is to ".. listen to Nature by doing experiments." For over three centuries the principle of science has been experiments rather than theory - that is to say, the received truth. In brief the scientific method is basically to indulge in experiments. The fact that we should never take anyone's word for anything also applies to the study of science. ...read more.

Middle

What he has got to do is to say, "These are the kind of things we can provide for you: it is for you to decide how you will apply them. We will tell you whether they will be easy to apply in one way, how difficult it may be in some cases, etc. I do not think that the idea of "knowledge for its own sake" exonerate scientists from being responsible for what they do. They have some responsibility to think how their activities might be used or misused. I also believe that different sorts of scientists have different responsibilities as scientists; and at the same time they also have responsibilities as citizens, responsibilities which they have in common with everyone else. First of all, any scientist is a citizen of some country. This leads us to Heisenberg, who as a citizen of the country Germany, at one point - in my opinion - felt an obligation to support his country during the war. Heisenberg gets most attention because as Germany's leading atomic theorist, he could, in principle, have given Hitler an A-bomb. ...read more.

Conclusion

The problem is not just one of scientist in a period of war but anyone who is a citizen of a country has to face a question of his own personal morality and the job he does. In my opinion it is also a scientist's job and responsibility to pass on knowledge to the population based on objective tests. Therefore I think it's critical when for example the American government hire scientists to work out scientific reports concerning the environment, which are projected as objective, but where the results are actually adjusted in a way so that they are in agreement with the environmental policy in USA. Last but not least I would like to point out an essential responsibility of governments, which I believe is to create the conditions in which a scientist can say no to projects in which he does not want to take part. A scientist must even be able to give advice which is distasteful to those in authority, and still must not be hounded out of public life or prevented from making a living. ?? ?? ?? ?? Hanieh Meteran 2.x Engelsk aflevering d. 9.11.2007 Greve Gymnasium 1 ...read more.

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