Pb 1 Science And Society Understanding Science-Books Pdf

PB 1 Science and society Understanding Science
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Supporting science, Some science can be done without much money at all You can make careful observa. tions of the sparrows in your backyard and do real scientific research on a shoestring. but many research topics in science are not so cheaply addressed For example scien. tists are eagerly awaiting the answers to key questions in particle physics which they. hope will come from a multi billion dollar particle accelerator scheduled to be opera. tional in 2009 Of course most scientific research doesn t cost billions of dollars but. neither is it free, This is just a small part of the Large Hadron Collider a scientific instrument near Geneva. Switzerland It is the result of a collaboration between more than 8000 physicists and hundreds. of organizations from all over the world It didn t come cheap. Science can be expensive There are salaries to be bankrolled lab equipment to be. bought workspace to be paid for and field research to be financed Without funding. science as a whole simply can t progress and that funding ultimately comes from the. societies that will reap its benefits Hence those societies help determine how their. money is spent For example a society that largely approves of stem cell research will. encourage government support stimulating advances in the field However a society. that largely disapproves of stem cell research is unlikely to support politicians who. provide funding for that research In the latter situation less research on stem cells. will be done and that society is unlikely to become a leader in the field. Large hadron collider photo CERN, 2013 The University of California Museum of Paleontology Berkeley and the Regents of the University of California www understandingscience org. THE ENERGY RESEARCH ROLLERCOASTER, Scientists researching alternative energy sources. e g wind solar and geothermal energy as op, posed to fossil fuels are used to seeing their for.
tunes rise and fall with the societal political and. economic climates Funding available for alternative. energy research often rises in step with the cost of. fossil fuels and with society s interest in curbing pol. lution and conserving our natural resources The, energy crisis of the 1970s for example triggered a. sharp increase in funds available to investigate alter. natives to oil Will current concerns over fossil fuels. spark a similar increase As of early 2007 society s. concerns had yet to pay off significantly in terms of. research funds but such wheels turn slowly and, alternative energy research may yet get its much A wind farm. needed injection of research funds, Funding influences the path of science by encouraging research on some topics and. pointing away from others That influence may be indirect such as when political. priorities shape the funding programs of government funding agencies like the Na. tional Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation Or that influence may. be more direct such as when individuals or private foundations provide donations to. support research on particular topics like breast cancer or when an individual or in. stitution offers a monetary prize for solving a particular scientific problem such as the. 25 million dollar prize offered in 2007 for the invention of a viable technique for re. moving carbon dioxide from the atmosphere As that example demonstrates funding. can shape the course of science by prodding it in particular directions but ultimately. funding cannot change the scientific conclusions reached by that research. Wind farm photo by Tom Hall DOE, 2013 The University of California Museum of Paleontology Berkeley and the Regents of the University of California www understandingscience org. Meeting society s needs, Science responds to the needs and interests of the societies in which it takes place.
A topic that meets a societal need or promises to garner the attention of society is. often more likely to be picked up as a research topic than an obscure question with. little prospect for a larger impact For example over the last 15 years science has. responded to the HIV AIDS epidemic with a massive research effort This research. has addressed HIV in particular but has also increased our understanding of viral in. fections in general Society s desire to slow the spread of HIV and develop effective. vaccines and treatments has focused scientific research which improves our under. standings of the immune system and how it interacts with viruses drugs and second. ary infections Science is done by people and those people are often sensitive to the. needs and interests of the world around them whether the desired impact is more al. truistic more economic or a combination of the two as demonstrated in the example. THE COLOR MAUVE, In 1856 while trying to make a synthetic version of the anti malarial drug qui. nine the young chemist William Perkin spied a glint of purple He had stumbled. upon a dye which produced a new color mauve The color was an instant hit. adorning women across Europe and enriching its inventor This attention attracted. other chemists hoping to make a similar impact and a buck and the field of. organic chemistry took off buoyed by a fashion craze The whims of society may. sometimes seem frivolous yet even such trivial changes may end up changing. the course of science, Photo of HIV researcher by CDC Hsi Liu Ph D MBA James Gathany photo of vaccine by Jim Gathany photo of avian flu virus by CDC. Courtesy of Cynthia Goldsmith Jacqueline Katz and Sherif R Zaki photo of tuberculosis by Janice Carr. 2013 The University of California Museum of Paleontology Berkeley and the Regents of the University of California www understandingscience org. Shaping scientists, We are all influenced by the cultures in which we grew up and the societies in which. we live Those cultures shape our expectations values beliefs and goals Scientists. too are shaped by their cultures and societies which in turn influence their work. For example a scientist may refuse to participate in certain sorts of research because. it conflicts with his or her beliefs or values as in the case of Joseph Rotblat a Polish. born physicist whose personal convictions profoundly influenced the research he. In 1939 Joseph Rotblat became, one of the first scientists to. grasp the implications of split, ting atoms that the energy.
they release could be used to, start a chain reaction culmi. nating in a massive release, of energy in other words an. atomic bomb However instead, of being excited by the pos. sibility Rotblat worried about, the enormous cost to human. life such weapons would have, and avoided following up on the.
idea Then in the same year, Rotblat narrowly made it out of. Poland before the Nazi invasion, and eventually lost his wife to. the German occupation there, He was now fearful that Ger. many would develop their own, atomic bomb, Reasoning that a competing. power with a similar weapon, could deter Hitler from using.
such a bomb Rotblat began, working on the idea in earnest Top Rotblat back row furthest to the right attended and. and came to the United States helped organize the first Pugwash Conference in 1957 It was. a meeting of scholars and prominent figures with the goal of. to help the Manhattan Project, reducing the danger of armed conflict and seeking cooperative. develop an atomic bomb But solutions for global problems Bottom Rotblat remained. then came another turning committed to the ideals of the Pugwash Conference and can be. point In 1944 Rotblat learned seen here standing center at the 54th conference in 2004. that German scientists had, abandoned their research into atomic weapons It no longer seemed likely that the. bomb which Rotblat was helping to develop would be used merely for deterrent pur. poses In 1944 Rotblat became the only scientist to resign from the Manhattan Proj. ect because he found its probable application unethical After World War II Rotblat. channeled his physics towards medical applications and in 1995 won the Nobel Peace. Prize for his efforts towards nuclear nonproliferation. Pugwash photos provided by the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. 2013 The University of California Museum of Paleontology Berkeley and the Regents of the University of California www understandingscience org. Rotblat avoided a particular research area, because of his ethical views other scientists. have chosen research topics based on their, values or political commitments For example.
Harvard scientist Richard Levins was an ardent, supporter of socialism After a stint as a farm. er and labor organizer in Puerto Rico Levins, returned to the U S to study zoology but not. to focus on a small scale concern like the be, havior of an individual organism or species. Instead Levins invested himself in population, Richard Levins biology and community level interactions. areas with implications for issues he cares, about economic development agriculture and public health Levins political views.
don t change the outcomes of his scientific studies but they do profoundly influence. what topics he chooses to study in the first place. And of course the societal biases that individual scientists may have influence the. course of science in many ways as demonstrated by the example below. FINDING INSPIRATION IN THE DETAILS, In the early 1900s American society. did not expect women to have careers, let alone run scientific studies Hence. women who chose to pursue science were, frequently relegated to more tedious and. rote tasks Such was the case when Hen, rietta Leavitt went to work at Harvard. College Observatory for Edward Pickering, She was assigned the task of painstak.
ingly cataloguing and comparing photos, of thousands of stars mere specks of. light In fact at the time women were, preferred for such tasks because of their. supposedly patient temperaments How, ever even within this drudgery Leavitt Henrietta Leavitt. found inspiration and a startling pattern, in her stars For stars whose brightness. varies called variable stars the length, of time between their brightest and dim.
mest points is related to their overall, brightness slower cycling stars are more. luminous Her discovery had far reaching, implications and would soon allow astron. omers to measure the size of our galaxy, and to show that the universe is expand. ing But Pickering did not allow Leavitt to, follow up on this discovery Instead she. was sent back to her measurements as Women at work at the Harvard College. was deemed appropriate for a woman at Observatory in 1891 Edward Pickering is. standing in the corner to the left, that time and the study of variable stars.
was left for other scientists to pick up, Had society s views of women been more open minded this chapter in astrono. my s history might have played out quite differently. Richard Levins photo provided by Richard Levins Henrietta Leavitt photo provided by the American Association of Variable Star Observers. AAVSO Pickering lab photo from Harvard University Archives call HUV 1210 9 4. 2013 The University of California Museum of Paleontology Berkeley and the Regents of the University of California www understandingscience org. Summing up science and society, In this section we ve seen that society shapes the. path of science in many different ways Society helps. determine how its resources are deployed to fund, scientific work encouraging some sorts of research. and discouraging others Similarly scientists are di. rectly influenced by the interests and needs of society. and often direct their research towards topics that. will serve society And at the most basic level soci. ety shapes scientists expectations values beliefs, and goals all of which factor into the questions they. choose to pursue and how they investigate those, Drilling for ice core samples along.
the Arctic Ocean to study climate, GET INVOLVED, Even if you don t spend your days sequencing DNA conducting particle accelera. tor experiments or analyzing the composition of rocks you can still influence the. path of science with your actions every day How Here are some suggestions for. getting more involved with scientific research, Change how funding agencies distribute research funds For example. if you wanted to encourage research into alternative energy sources you. could write your congressperson to let him or her know what research you d. like to see government agencies fund, Support research For example if you wanted science to find a cure for. juvenile diabetes you could support a foundation that promotes research on. the disease, Help with data collection and analysis Some scientific research projects. are actively seeking your help as a volunteer For example during your home. computer s downtime you could offer up its computing power to chemists. at Stanford to help perform calculations about protein shapes Or you could. help astronomers by making backyard observations of variable stars For. more information about getting involved with scientific research through vol. unteering check out organizations like DistributedComputing info and Citizen. Here we ve seen how society influences science But what about the reverse How. does science influence society To find out read on. 2013 The University of California Museum of Paleontology Berkeley and the Regents of the University of California www understandingscience org. PB 1 Science and society Societies have changed over time and consequently so has science For example during the first half of the 20th century when the world was enmeshed in war gov ernments made funds available for scientists to pursue research with wartime applica tions and so science progressed in that direction unlocking the mysteries of nuclear energy At other times market

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