By Raphael Sassower (auth.)
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Extra resources for Compromising the Ideals of Science
Fallen Angels: On the Compromises of Scientists times, science was in the service of the powers to be and at other times, it propounded the ideals of democratic and communal association of knowledge seekers that should inform society as a whole. But taking on this posture has meant that “science had ceased to be merely a methodology and had become an ideology as well” (Ibid. 37). There are some who contest this view of the democracy of science, because the search for the truth isn’t accomplished by majority vote (Culshaw 2007, 18).
To be sure, just because there were national pressures on the scientific community to participate in what was understood as Big Science, it didn’t mean that internal critiques, if not soul-searching, weren’t already underway. One early American example of Big Science was the Manhattan Project of World War II for the design and production of an atomic bomb to fight fascism and bring an end to the war; another was the sending of a manned spaceship to the moon after the Soviet Sputnik program became successful.
102). Perhaps Weber was right after all to cling to personal integrity as the foundation for all the lofty features outlined by Merton. We can even cite the heralded cases of Albert Einstein from the earlier part of the 20th century all the way to that of Stephen Hawking later in that century. Their genius and public persona have had much to do with how we have come to think about them if we ourselves aren’t working scientists. They exemplify the angelic image we have of genius and selflessness, and their press coverage has always been adoring.