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Tech - Trad 103 Section 33 Essay 2 Science is vast field of...

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Trad 103 11/8/2006 Section 33- Essay # 2 Science is vast field of study which holds many theories and ideas. Modern science can be considered a social institution, inside containing its own set of social responsibilities, such as a researcher or even a student, and “It has its own rules, some which are precise while others understood.” (Bauchspies et al. 51) Many scholars have spent their entire lives finding the specifics of its many branches. One of these researchers of science, Robert K. Merton, came up with a theory known as the “Merton’s Norms”, which encompassed the basics of scientific thought. Merton’s Norms of science cover four basic areas: communalism, organized skepticism, disinterestedness, and universalism. Each of these basics have specific definitions of which all scientists need to understand in order to participate and be accepted in the scientific community These ‘norms’ can be applied to all careers within the sciences and even beyond including engineering. Chris Gabe is a mechanical Drafter/Engineer for Aker Kvaerner here in Tucson, Arizona. He works mainly with the development and implementation of oil refineries all over the United States. As an engineer the application of Merton’s Norms is important in order for Gabe to do his job successfully. I interviewed about his opinions and ideas of Merton’s Norms and compared them to the definitions discussed in lecture. Communalism, according to the lecture, is the idea that “knowledge is public and to be shared freely, this ensures that scientists can check one another’s work.” (82) When asked if he agreed with this statement he says that he does, however he feels that it should be confined to “within your own country or nation because that is how the United States, or any other country for that matter, stays competitive”. I asked him if he
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felt that knowledge should be shared with other companies, even competitors, and he mentions that “after your patent rights are up, all the knowledge will be known in the end,” and asks, “why not just share it freely?”
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