The image of scientists

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by spuriousmonkey, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    I went to see Godsend the other day in the movie theatre. I had no clue the topic was human cloning. I just saw the billboard and thought it might be interesting (robert de niro was in it).

    Besides the fact that it was an extremely bad movie I noticed something else in it. It was also dealing in a 'as a matter of fact' manner the image the general public has of scientists.

    I will describe it in general terms, because I can't remember the details.

    There is a medical doctor.
    emotional reaction of actors :that is good. He is helping mankind..

    There is this medical doctor. He does research.
    emotional reaction of actors :that is suspicious.

    He is a researcher
    emotional reaction of actors :he must be up to something bad.

    He is a brilliant researcher
    emotional reaction of actors :That is creepy..


    In short. A medical doctor was seen as good, a researcher as a frankenstein.

    Is this how society sees scientists?
     
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  3. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    On the contrary doctor's job may be just to follow the scientist/research work. All effects are/can be known/understood by the scientist & I feel that unless a doctor knows equal to a research scientist(of that durg)--that research scientist or equal to that should have been involved in all prescripions to really justify the treatment. All prescriptions shuld be backed with full knowledge, effects & patho-physiology of durg, each patient & disease. Is/can it commonly taken care off under current environment of over-population, over-pollutions, over-indulgence, over-commercializations, over-complications, over-fancied/popular system...etc. with less available time. I think scientists are only or mostly justified?
     
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  5. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Not really. At least, not in the United States. Every year the National Science Foundation does a giant study of the state of science and technology in the U.S., which includes public perceptions of scientists. Here's an excerpt:
    You can find the entire thing here: http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/seind02/toc.htm
     
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  7. bradguth Banned Banned

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    Skewed results; as in what other could they possibly have to say?

    Politics rules the scientific mind, it distorts and/or hides the truth until the timing is right (if ever).

    Whatever portion politics isn't in control of, religion lords over all that remains.

    As a result, space toilets have chuck full of what's plugging up the intellectual cesspool of life.

    Sorry Nasor, as obviously you're too darn smart for your own good, much like I was as of four years ago.
     
  8. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Brad sez:

    Politics rules the scientific mind, it distorts and/or hides the truth

    From the link Nasor provided:

    That is, 70 percent of those who had not completed high school agreed with the statement ("scientific work is dangerous." ) compared with 56 percent of high school graduates and 30 percent of college graduates.

    This would make for an interesting poll here a Sciforums, don't ya think, Brad?
     
  9. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Well, they could have said something along the lines of "I don't want my child becoming one of those evil, god-playing scientists."
    Waaaa? I'm obviously not smart enough to figure out what the heck you're talking about here.

    Someone asked about public perception of scientists, and since just the other day I had read a study on it I thought that people might be interested.
     
  10. EvilSquirrel Interesting Infidel Registered Senior Member

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    I don't think anyone should care how "society" sees scientists. If you look at what job occupations get the most ammount of buisness, it's always the people in the entertainent biz. Our society is quite screwed up and I doubt it's going to get any better.

    I do belive, however, scientists should be looked at with more respect and should be thought higher of then some some twenty year old wearing a skimpy outfit.

    Ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up. You'll most likely hear something along the lines of "Brittany Spears" [or some other actress, singer, ect.] then a scientists. They've started studies that show that 40% [It may be a tad bit high or a tad bit lower, it's not exscat but it's pretty close] of girls lose interest in math and science before fifth grade. Isn't that sad?

    I was interested Nasor

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  11. alty Brainy Burd! Registered Senior Member

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    Kumar - I had no idea what you were trying to say in your first post, it confused me

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    anyway....I think people believe scientists and research is ok, if it has a target which people can understand and sympathise with. For example, research into cancer is always seen as worthy. When the research is either less focussed (ie isn't for a specific cause) or when the cause is seen by the public to be not worthy, or is unable to be understood by the general public, then people get suspicious.

    Unfortunately, because most real science is beyond the comprehension (at any in depth level) of the man in the street, he will always be suspicious, because it is human nature to be suspicious of that which we don't understand. (Just be glad we've come a long way since the days when people were burned at the stake because others couldn't understand them). So the scientists of our society will always have to put up with this suspicion, because they will always be pioneers, investigating the unknown. Also, people are probably subconsciously scared of what a scientist can say, as they may have or develop the 'power' and knowledge to turn everything we know about our world upon it's head, and people don't like that. They like the security of believing that they know how it all works. (Also related to why religious types are suspicious of scientists even more so - one day they might prove them wrong!)
     
  12. hotsexyangelprincess WMD Registered Senior Member

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    most people in my high school think science is for losers. and they're cool. so they dont like science. :m:
     

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