Getting scientists to think about what they are doing

Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (2):165-176 (2001)
Abstract
Research scientists are trained to produce specialised bricks of knowledge, but not to look at the whole building. Increasing public concern about the social role of science is forcing science students to think about what they are actually learning to do. What sort of knowledge will they be producing, and how will it be used? Science education now requires serious consideration of these philosophical and ethical questions. But the many different forms of knowledge produced by modern science cannot be covered by any single philosophical principle. Sociology and cognitive psychology are also needed to understand what the sciences have in common and the significance of what they generate. Again, traditional modes of ethical analysis cannot deal adequately with the values, norms and interests activated by present-day technoscience without reference to its sociological, political and economic dimensions.
Keywords education  ethics  values  interests  philosophy  sociology
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