How does science affect society?

  • Created by: rorambla
  • Created on: 17-04-16 18:40

How society supports the development of science th

How society supports the development of science through funding of research.
150 years ago research was carried out by individuals perhaps in a university.
Communication was limited to letters and meetings.
The relative cost of scientific research was much smaller than today.
Research though was carried out by wealthy individuals. 

Nowadays scientific research is very expensive.
Compare Darwin's voyage with exploring inaccessible parts of the ocean today.
This sort of research isn't possible without money from governments or business.

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Motives for funding scientific research:

: increasing the nation's wealth. Perhaps finding oil or gas?

: defending the nation against aggressors.

: to threaten other countries.

Image building
: promoting a positive view of a country.

: sharing costs and esteem with other countries.

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Possible controversy:

The Hubble Telescope for example:
Placing men on the moon in the 1960s was motivated by national rivalry between the USA and the USSR and has produced little that could not have been produced by putting instruments there instead.
But, investgations of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have been carried out by small space vehicles and have discovered much of great interest about our solar system.

The projects cost a great deal, and have to be planned meticulously years in advance. 

They tend to be financed by individual countries because of the potential military aspects of putting devices into orbit using rocketry.
Scientific research is supposed to free from political, social and economic pressures.

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Scientist's pressures and dilemmas

Scientists are expected to be honest when reporting their findings.
The independance of science
Under what circumstances can this go wrong?
Funding organizations may expect results that benefit that organization.
The funding organization may not want research results passed onto rival organizations.
Scientists may be under pressure to behave in secretive ways.
Researchers may be under pressure to hide results from the public.
Scientists may be selective in what they publish only publishing positive results.
Scientists may want to set aside evidence that casts doubt on wok they may have spent their lives on.

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Past paper question

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