LETTER: Blinded by science
Wednesday 05 August 1998
We have been brainwashed into thinking that science produces nice clear- cut answers, which of course it does within a certain domain of study. In the real, messy world of human affairs, hardly anything is clear-cut. It does not need the "honesty, integrity and morality" of science to see through meretricious advertising or political double-speak. Think of any recent controversy and you'll find one lot of scientists promoting a certain course of action with an equally qualified lot against it. What can even the moderately qualified layman make of it all? Science is synonymous with its applications: one technical fix produces unforeseen side-effects which in turn need another technical fix, and so it goes on. Let us have a more balanced debate and less of the unwarranted triumphalism surrounding science and its achievements.
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