There Has Been Great Debate On Whether Science Should Be

1387 WordsMar 2, 20176 Pages
There has been great debate on whether science should be value-free or not. The value-free ideal view of science states that the scientific internal stages should remain free of non-epistemic values and should only be a factor in the external stages of science (Douglas, ). These internal stages are the selection of different methodologies, choosing which data is useful, and within the interpretation of data (Douglas, ). Non-epistemic values are beliefs, values, and morals, whereas epistemic values are cognitive values focusing on truths, knowledge, and understanding. Rejecting the value-free ideal of science means accepting the risk associated with the rejection or acceptance of a hypothesis because of the non-epistemic values within the…show more content…
Hempel (year) also believed that if there is no evidence can determine certainty within a hypothesis as values are needed to weigh the consequences of possible errors that may occur in the decision to reject or accept a hypothesis. Therefore, the potential implications of science are beyond the just the scope of the science field and extend into the public. Only the resultant technologies of research can be limited but the existence of knowledge alters the outlook on the world. Douglas states search for truth is a nontranscendent good but the development of knowledge is important and must be weighed against moral choices. Specifically, a scientist must consider the unintended consequences of their actions in regards to negligence and recklessness to determine if the risks offset the benefits. Recklessness is defined as being fully aware of the risks or imposing the unjustified risks on others, whereas negligence is defined as being unaware of the risks that could cause harm and prevent the risk. The Challenger disaster seems to exemplify the issues of scientists, or in this case, engineers, removing their role responsibilities. The engineers were told to put on their management hat by the Morton-Thiokol management team. However, it seems that there should not be separate hats but rather there should only be one hat that considers the consequences and implications of their own actions. The Challenger is not the only example of scientists removing their
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