"heroic" scientists

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Tue Apr 16 12:03:29 EST 1996


In article <4kumis$reb at omnifest.uwm.edu>, pbowne at omnifest.uwm.edu
(Patricia S. Bowne) wrote:

> Horrors! I have been using jargon without even realizing it!

(snipperooney)

 In the book I got it from, the heroism of science lay
> in the scientific community's standing up to dogma and 
> insisting on the data. The book was setting it in the context
> of WWII, when the nazis were expelling scientists who disagreed
> with them from Germany - and also in the context of soviet
> Russia and Lysenkoism. So I regard scientific heroism as very
> much a community thing.

Pat,

Thanks a lot for the clarification . . . on one hand, maybe we should be
grateful that right now we aren't in a situation (war, totalitarian
dictatorship) where we have to be this kind of hero, but on the other
hand, scientists still do this kind of thing, on a smaller scale--what
about the physicists who signed a statement that SDI wouldn't work?  Or
those that participate in PUGWASH?  Or, for that matter, the (feminist)
women who are standing up for getting data on women's health issues at
NIH?  I see this kind of "heroic" model as relatively alive and well, and
I'm grateful for that.

Karen Allendoerfer



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