Lewis Wolpert writes as if the scientist is simply the blameless messenger, or actor (Review, 26 January). Don't blame him or her: he or she doesn't write the script, or choose what to write about. Nature plus autonomous, disinterested, reason and observation - others might say, society and culture - largely do that.

Is this bad faith: a blatant case of passing the buck? More likely, science is a bit of both, nature and culture acting together, in consonance as well as dissonance. Attempts to examine and disen- tangle them will always be reflexive and problematic. But, with the aid of the critical philosophy and social science Professor Wolpert evidently knows little about, yet spurns, they will also be enlightening and vital in ways he has still to see.

Richard Friend

London SE5

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