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Quine's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Quine

I have heard Richard say exactly these things before in talks, establishing quickly and concisely as 'a method' it's not my idea! I just wish he would use the phrase more sometimes!

I do try to do that when the situation allows. I prefer to say "researchers" in place of "scientists" when I can. Sometimes when people hear "science" they get a negative reaction to the politics of the institution. Ben Stein tried to feed on that. Of course, the method is the thing, but it is hard to do without funding, and with that, always, comes the personal politics.

I wish I could argue that we need to buck up the public's impression and trust in the institution of science in total, but that is just too simplistic, and real problems do exist. The public tends to confuse science and technology so as to, often, blame science for the ill consequences of misused technology. However, I agree that any effort to get a better understanding of the scientific method, is going in the right direction, and also helps people to understand that science and technology are not the same thing. A bit harder, though, getting people to understand that the validity of the knowledge has to stand independent of the politics, takes backing up by the personal integrity of the scientific community in general.

Fri, 01 Oct 2010 18:40:50 UTC | #527757