Re[2]: Anthropology of Science

Fri, 6 Oct 1995 11:15:00 PDT

Graber comments:
" Science is the product and process of ongoing
interaction between evidence and reason; its ideas are always answerable
to evidence."

That says it all in a nutshell. The discussion about "bias" in science is
not about the value system of science, but how that value system becomes
implemented by particular men and women under particular conditions.
Scientists are humans first and scientists second and are as susceptible to
bias, non-objectivity, distortion, hidden agendas and the like as anyone
else. Scientists reflect the culture in which they are situated. But what
distinguishes science, as Graber notes, is its insistence that what is called
"scientific knowledge" must be subjected to public scrutiny and challenge and
tested against empirical observation. Indiviual scientists sometimes resist
that public scrutiny in a variety of ways, and individual scientists can and
do parade their own biases under the guise of "scientific" knowledge. The
distinguishing characteristic of science is not that supposedly scientists
somehow rise above the venality that often characterizes human affairs (they
don't) nor that scientists escape from being ____ist (they can be
and sometimes are),
but its insistence on public scrutiny and verification of its claims by
empirical obsrvations that must be publicly replicable.

D. Read