Science: Funding and Morals

Gregory R. Harriman gregoryh at bcm.tmc.edu
Mon Jan 22 17:30:15 EST 1996


In article
<Pine.SOL.3.91.960122121148.24722C-100000 at mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA>,
berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA (Alexander Berezin) wrote:

> BEREZIN:
> Not surprisingy in a country in which one porno-movie
> script of ca. 100 pages (2-3 weeks of work, I guess)
> can bring you more money than 3 professors in science can 
> earn in their entire LIFETIME. 
> 
> (KATHY): 
> > We need better education of our students... and that's where
> > teaching ethics, and having *good* morale leaders, is at least a
> > start.
> 
> BEREZIN:
> Dear Kathy, do you really believe that in a country 
> where the 'certified' moral teachers are Swaggerts
> and Backers you can achieve a lot by moral lessoning ?
> Given a choice beteen becoming next Bill Gates or
> a future Nobel Prize laureate how many youths you 
> think will choose the second option ?

Alexander makes an important point here.  Much of the discussions in this
thread(s) have been focused on the nefarious, ne'er-do-well, incompetent
scientists.  Notwithstanding the fact (IMHO) that such a perception is
overly pessimistic (glass half-empty rather than half-full); many of the
problems we find in science today are a reflection of a larger problem in
society.  Priorities of society (ie. what gets rewarded and what doesn't)
are in many respects grossly distorted.  Thus, we as a society spend
millions, no billions, on all kinds of decadent activities (no need to
elucidate here) and at the same time pay teachers, firemen , policemen,
etc. barely a susbsidence wage, not to mention inadequate funding of other
socially desirable activities.  If one wants to address the problems in
science, one needs to do it in the context of the greater problems in
society.

Greg Harriman



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