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The Values of Scientists and Technologists. How and Why  Philosophy and theology = knowing why (purpose). The study of purpose in philosophy is called.

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Presentation on theme: "The Values of Scientists and Technologists. How and Why  Philosophy and theology = knowing why (purpose). The study of purpose in philosophy is called."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Values of Scientists and Technologists

2 How and Why  Philosophy and theology = knowing why (purpose). The study of purpose in philosophy is called teleology.  Science = knowing why (causes of events) = knowing how (mechanisms)  Technology = knowing how (to do things)

3 Science and Technology can exist separate from one another Until the Renaissance, almost all technology was divorced from science Ancient Greeks did science without applying it to technology Modern “pure research” may not have any immediate application to technology

4 Scientists and Technologists have all the value drives of normal human beings

5 Some Values of Scientists Autonomy  Being allowed to work in science  Freedom to Choose Research  "Ethical Neutrality" - findings should not be tailored to fit a particular value system  This is anything but an ethically neutral position!

6 Some Values of Scientists Intellectual Integrity and Methodology  Confirmation, repeatability  Reduction, isolation, superposition, idealization  Conceptual precision  Symbolic thinking, mathematics, analogy  Empiricism, positivism  Caution about claims of absolute truth

7 Some Values of Scientists Esthetics  Ingenuity, conciseness, elegance  Value of past achievements of science  Value of facts per se

8 Some Values of Scientists Social Interactions as Scientists  Chance to contribute, prestige, relevance  Scientists invest time the way financiers invest money--for return.  Professional ethics  Acknowledge work of others  Courtesy even in controversy or dispute  Faking results, if exposed, will usually wreck a career - but "fudging” happens

9 Some Values of Technologists  For the most part, technologists and scientists share many core values.  Ingenuity  Sometimes fascination with complexity or bigness for its own sake  Sometimes an inferiority complex with regard to science  Technical competence  Professional advancement

10 Reductionism Treat Components of Problem in Isolation Reduce Scope of Problem to More Manageable Level Reduce the Number of Variables Restrict Concern to Scientific or Technical Issues

11 Reductionism: Restrict Concern to Scientific or Technical Issues Scientists can sometimes let fascination override other considerations Scientists can seek refuge from moral issues in abstract research Does technology create moral problems or reveal them?

12 Values of Science and Technology Change with Time and Culture  Growth of "Big Science"  Growing dependence on government support  Publish or perish  Grantsmanship

13 Science, Technology and the Public Feeling of impotence--technology out of control  Cognitive dissonance--math and science anxiety  The appeal of pseudoscience  Unreasonable expectations  Technology will bring the "good life"  We can make value decisions "scientifically"


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