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Unformatted text preview: he embodiment of rationality. Scientific
theories must be logically consistent and rationally articu lated, but their ultimate source is
human creativity and imagination—qualities often at a co nsiderable distance from rational
thought processes. At the other end of the scientific ente rprise, the testing of these theories,
there are no perfectly rational means of determining the criteria through which theories can be
validated or disproved. Even empirically derived “facts” c an be subject to interpretation, while
general world views can strongly affect what is acceptab le as “proof” (68).
Similarly, a great deal of technological advance is also th product of non-rational thought. The
benefit or harm of a particular technology cannot always be adjudged according to criteria
based on rationally determined principles; a great deal h inges on values and ethical standards
that are derived through other means (68-69).
For universities and private firms alike, the lucrative cou pling of basic research with
technological application may seriously inhibit the sharin g of new information, substances, and
devices. These restrictions violate a basic canon of scie ntific culture, the free distribution of
ideas and research findings, and in the long run they ma y result in a slower rate of progress for
both science and technology (69).
Both science and technology seem to do best when they remain in close contact, but this should
not obscure the fact that they remain very different enter prises (72). Page 2 of 2...
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2010 for the course SOC 415 taught by Professor Swift,d during the Fall '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.
- Fall '08