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UNIT 2: SCIENCE AND SOCIETY

The nature of scientific objectivity and the question of progress
Scientific research and development
Scientists are human beings rather than boffins hidden away in a laboratory and, as human beings, they
are subject to the same influences as nonscientists. They will have their own beliefs…

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Observation and recording are always important in scientific method but scientists have to make
initial decisions about the parameters of their study and the most appropriate form of methodology.
Scientists may be called upon to make assumptions or interpretations, and scientists pursuing the
same objective may end up with different…

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It is probably impossible that anybody can fail to be influenced by some part of their life or upbringing, but
scientists strive for objectivity in their research methods and are aware that, if they do make what appears
to be a significant breakthrough (say, in the treatment of a disease),…

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The CDROM emerged in 1982, allowing computers to use digital sound and video images.
Increasingly it took on a wider multimedia purpose as desktop computers with builtin stereo
speakers became more common. Microsoft's Windows 3.0 operating system appeared in 1990, to
be superseded by Windows 95 5 years later.
By…

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There might be savings on office space, equipment and other facilities.
It is relatively easy to arrange video conferencing.
Employers can allow employees to maintain social contacts via sites such as Facebook.
Disadvantages
If may be more difficult to manage and monitor the performance of employees.
Employers do not always…

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Those stiil working in an office environment may be envious, sceptical or even hostile
to colleagues who have an 'easy life' working from home.
Fewer opportunities to meet people may reinforce the sense of isolation.
Homeworking requires considerable selfdiscipline and personal motivation. Not
everyone can work to their own timetable…

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In 2004 the Commissioner warned of the dangers of sleepwalking into a surveillance society'. By 2006, in
launching the highly detailed and informative Report on the Surveillance Society from the Surveillance
Studies Network, he felt we might be waking up to one. The report raises important questions about the
balance…

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road safety and enforce the law. In addition it collects vehicle excise duty (road tax). In 2007 the Transport
Secretary, Ruth Kelly, disclosed that a computer disk containing the names, addresses and phone
numbers of 3 million driving test applicants had gone missing. It was lost by the Iowabased Pearson…

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Biometrics and ID cards
Biometric identifiers (iris scans, digital fingerprinting, facial scans, voice biometrics and hand scans) have
all been identified with more secure systems of passports or identity cards to meet concerns about credit
card fraud, illegal immigrant labour, border controls and, particularly, terrorism. Certainly biometrics are
central to…

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Both production costs and the cost of the cards to individuals are likely to be higher than the original
estimates. The money might be better spent on alternative policies.
Biometric techniques are not always totally reliable.
There is a lack of political consensus-- both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are…

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