Paper 1: The Social Aspects of Modern Science
Social aspects are very important to modern science, but are not as important as scientific skill.
Some social aspects of modern science include, but are not limited to, prestige, responsibility, and
stereotypes. Over the years science has evolved, it has become something very prestigious; in the
process, science has gained the world’s trust. With this trust comes great responsibility. As science has
evolved, so has the world around it, it has become more accepting of stereotypes, and scientists are no
exception. Prestige, responsibility, and stereotypes, have become very important aspects of modern
science, but are still not as important as scientific skill.
Prestige is most commonly used to refer to a person’s social rank. In relating prestige to science,
it is significantly similar. To say that science is prestigious is to say that it is of a high social ranking. It is
something associated with high class, and it is something sought after. There have been some important
factors leading science to becoming prestigious. One of the first steps in this positive direction was its
change in name. (Brown, 2007) A long time ago, when people were first beginning to study the natural
world around them, the people who were involved in science were not referred to as scientists.
Scientists used to be called natural philosophers, and are now called scientists. As a result scientists
have been able to separate themselves significantly from philosophers. Enabling the two fields of
philosophy and science to diverge, allowing science to grow into what it is today. Another important
aspect of scientific prestige is the education involved. (Brown, 2007) In modern science, education is
required to be a scientist, and to be involved in science. Education is even necessary at the basic level of
simply understanding science. The education system in America is very prestigious. To be so closely
associated with higher education, the field of science has, in turn become more prestigious. The final