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What is Science? - Page 2

post #21 of 24

One more:

 

http://www.american.com/archive/2010/july/science-turns-authoritarian

 

I agree with a lot of the above article - science communication does need come across as more objective and less authoritarian.  I know statement such as "science has decided that…" or some such variation of tick me off, so i bet it ticks off others as well.   Science decides stuff, does it?

 

A quote:

 

"If science wants to redeem itself and regain its place with the public’s affection, scientists need to come out every time some politician says, “The science says we must…” and reply, “Science only tells us what is. It does not, and can never tell us what we should or must do.” If they say that often enough, and loudly enough, they might be able to reclaim the mantle of objectivity that they’ve given up over the last 40 years by letting themselves become the regulatory state’s ultimate appeal to authority."


Edited by kathymuggle - 12/14/12 at 8:22am
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
“Science only tells us what is. It does not, and can never tell us what we should or must do.”

 

I actually disagree with both parts of this. Science tells us what we think is most likely true today and on the basis of this there is usually a best course of action recommended - so it does not tell "what is" at all, and it does tell us what we "should do" (no "must" about it - I'll at least agree with that!). 

post #23 of 24
Science tells us what we should do? Hopefully it lays a solid foundation for our opinions. But facts are not opinions. Two people can be armed with the same set of facts and form different opinions.

Physicians in the US and UK have access to the same information and research about vaccines. But the most powerful ones in the US are of the fanatical view that absolutely every child, (with rare and narrow medical exceptions), should receive absolutely every dose of absolutely every vaccine developed with serious repercussions for disobedient parents. British policy, at least thus far, supports taking the more ethical approach of doctor-patient collaboration, mutual trust, and informed consent. Listening to some US doctors talk, you'd think British children would be collapsing to death in street gutters left and right...eyesroll.gif

Anyway, same set of facts, different opinions.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 

Right - I said "should do" not "have to do" - ie. it gives a best course of action. Ignore it if you like. :)

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