Scientists are human, too.

One of the themes of this blog is that scientists enjoy (and suffer) the same emotions, illnesses, ecstasies, depressions, and everyday life experiences as every other human being.

The process of science—with its values of measurability, repeatability, objectivity, logic, and skepticism—does an admirable job of dampening the “non-scientific” influences brought by a human being. But those values can’t be ignored or eliminated. And if it were possible to eradicate those pesky human qualities, we’d also have to eliminate curiosity, the search for meaning, the appreciation of beauty, the desire to make the world a better place, and the drive for truth—the very motivations that underlie science itself. That wouldn’t be a good trade-off.

Just remember that science is a process. A scientist is a human being.

In today’s Washington Post, an op-ed piece by endocrinologist David Shaywitz, “When Science is a Siren Song,” forcefully makes the same point.

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Published in: on March 14, 2009 at 7:45 am  Leave a Comment  

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