British Empire Syndrome
More money for scientific and technological discoveries simply assisted other countries to exploit them, Sir Douglas told British Telecom managers. Most British scientists, particularly academic scientists, suffered from a British Empire syndrome.
"They argue that if research in any field of science and technology is being carried out anywhere in the world then it should be financed in Britain too," he said.
Instead of spreading research money too thinly, Britain should be monitoring . . . findings in other countries, particularly the United States and Japan, he said. Together with research on improving innovation, that would be better value for money.
Science Literacy at the Top
Political Power of Biotechnology
I am afraid that it indicates a continued chemical approach to agriculture rather than a biological approach. Once things start this way, it's hard to stop....
"We are raising questions about the environmental risks and the fact that not much assessment of the industry is going on. But biotechnology is not on the screen of most members of Congress.
The lack of antitrust enforcement and our permissiveness on mergers enormously magnify the power of genetic engineering."
Message From the Pope
It would on the one hand be illusory to claim that scientific research and its applications are morally neutral; on the other hand one cannot derive criteria for guidance from mere technical efficiency, from research's possible usefulness to some at the expense of others, or, worse still, from prevailing ideologies. Thus science and technology require, for their own intrinsic meaning, an unconditional respect for the fundamental criteria of the moral law: that is to say, they must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights and his true and integral good according to the design and will of God.
The rapid development of technological discoveries gives greater urgency to this need to respect the criteria just mentioned: science without conscience can only lead to man's ruin.
Feeding Basic Curiosity
Several researchers at the meeting publicly criticized the idea.
And Gerard Piel, former chairman of the association's board and chairman of the board of Scientific American, called the creation of university centers "a dilution of the process of self-government" in a community of scholars.
The flow of federal money should respond to "the freely motivated curiosity of scientists," he added, but researchers at centers tend to become preoccupied with more narrow questions of applied science.
Science in Action
Unusually for science, every step of the way has been illuminated by the spotlight of the popular media, spreading the confusion to the public at large.
The public usually expects clear facts and answers from the world of science and medicine: does this happen or does that? Is this true or is that? When a field of scientific inquiry is reasonably mature then clear facts and answers can often be given; but AIDS research is not yet mature. A few years ago it was a chaotic swirl of competing ideas and opinions. That chaos has calmed and.cleared a little, with the discovery of the virus responsible and increasing knowledge of what it does to us and how it does it; but the phase of crystal clarity is still some way off.
That's how science works—confusion slowly clearing as the hard facts crystallise out. The public often only hears about the facts that ultimately appear, but in the case of AIDS they are witnessing, and are a part of, the phase of messy confusion.
Money's Not the Object In the Search for Understanding
Stand Up for Science
At least in the UK, where a number of other factors peculiar to this country have accentuated the situation, the deleterious repercussions of these mistaken arguments are already sinking in with a vengence. The tragedy is that the scientific community has not yet begun to grasp the severity of this explicit and public notification of impending threat to the interests of its profession. What' is even worse is that most participants in the 'Science … fiction?' film were academic scientists in UK universities.
Thus instead of bemoaning the cuts and laying all the blame at the doors of Government and industry, the scientific community should better put its own house in order.
Joining the Brain Drain
After more than 20 years in UK universities, 16 of those as a Professor, I became more and more disillusioned with the conditions of service and the general attitude by Central Government to academics.
When I see young police officers of 18 earning more than young lecturers of 25 with a Ph.D. with equally ridiculous comparisons up the promotional scale, then the time has come to vote with one's feet.
In the US when you tell someone you are a university professor you feel that it means something. In the UK, the general public, encouraged by the establishment, think academics are a bunch of weird layabouts.
Why are scientists in films so utterly implausible? And does it matter? Yes, it does matter. Just as lawyers, doctors and policemen in films colour our views of lawyers, doctors and policemen in real life, so it is with scientists. But while most people have dealings at some time with real lawyers, doctors and policemen, they rarely see real scientists at work or know what they do.
Scientists themselves are partly to blame for this state of affairs. Filmmakers could do better, of course, but the obstacles are formidable. Science is a closed world, defended by its arcane language and impenetrable literature against intrusions by the lay public. We pride ourselves on our calm objectivity, and go to great lengths to ensure that our published reports carry no inkling of the rather messy fumbling that is the scientific process. As a result, "science", to most people, is a bewildering series of pronouncements and "breakthroughs" made by, well, jolly clever people.
The Challenge of Japan
The 'challenge' of Japan should be viewed in a positive way because there are so many things to be gained by spending time here. First, it should be recognized that many of the research centres and university departments are of a very high standard and have truly earned their reputation for excellence. One can therefore realistically expect the time spent here to be scientifically productive and successful. Of course, one is expected to work hard and the nor mal working hours are longer than those in the United Kingdom, but this should not be a detraction. In most research groups this is hardly noticeable as there is a strong feeling of companionship and very much a community spirit.
A Phony Image of Knowledge
"The typical science class is so preoccupied with memorization of terms and 'cook book' laboratory activities that efforts to encourage meaningful learning are seen as a diversion."
Celli … maintains that many so-called abstract artists are actually realists, "naturalists of the invisible", who paint landscapes of mitochondria or the paths of electrons instead of landscapes with trees. "In our century," he says, "the fundamental paradigm is science. Enchanted by visions from the microscope and the cosmos, artists have attempted to connect their work with science."