So They Say

Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science. The Mystique of Modern Science The popularization of science is commonplace. We expect radio and television, newspapers and films to present suitably digested accounts of scientific ideas and practices. Sometimes historical reconstruction is the preferred method, at others it is careful exposition, using models, analogies and visual aids. One result of this is that there exists a vocabulary and a set of images through which modem scienc

The Scientist Staff
Jul 12, 1987
Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science.

The Mystique of Modern Science

The popularization of science is commonplace. We expect radio and television, newspapers and films to present suitably digested accounts of scientific ideas and practices. Sometimes historical reconstruction is the preferred method, at others it is careful exposition, using models, analogies and visual aids. One result of this is that there exists a vocabulary and a set of images through which modem science can be examined. These languages repeat motifs found in the general culture—heroism, daring, challenge, discovery, struggle, triumph. Science is thereby portrayed as both like other human quests and as unique in its search for truth. A certain mystique surrounds scientific and medical research, a mystique which serves to reconcile us to its demands at the same time as it binds us to the historically-rooted and socially specific character of human mastery over nature....

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