To what extent are scientists responsible for the social impact of their knowledge on society?

Real Life Topic:

Genetic Engineering

Knowledge Question:

1.To what extent are scientists responsible for the social impact of their knowledge on society?

Imagine you are a scientist. Like many others in your field, you have been toiling day and night but to no real results. One day as you are experimenting in the lab, long after working hours, and it all pays off. A breakthrough. You have found a method to edit genes successfully. Just imagine all the lives you can help to improve. Hereditary diseases, infertility, sustainable crops… The list goes on. If you’re sure about anything, it’s that you will be remembered. You just didn’t quite anticipate how… It is after your research is published that you find out. What you could have never imagined was that your breakthrough could be used as a weapon of mass destruction. And that you are to blame?

Whilst, most of us would agree that the scientist should be credited for all the lives he helped to better, it is not clear if we should also blame him/her for the destruction that ensued. 

To me, it is simple. Knowledge is invaluable- in today’s world it is a privilege as well as power. Power that can either be used for good or bad. It can be argued that if the scientist would have never published his research, the disaster would have never happened. However, I believe that we cannot leave the scientist to burden all of the blame. He/she cannot solely shoulder the blame for what is the fault of humankind. As long as we take measures in order to try our best to prevent such knowledge from being passed on into the wrong hands, we have done our part. Till how long can we restrain knowledge from being advanced? If we cannot share knowledge, how are others meant to learn and contribute to it? After all, knowledge is not meant to be hidden away in the dark. It is meant to shed light. 

Language Unit 1: Representation/Identity

This year, our first language unit has been ‘Representation’. It endeavours us to question…

Identity

  • How are we affected by texts?
  • How does language represent social distinctions and identities?
  • How can texts offer multiple perspectives of a single issue, topic or theme?
  • How does voice contribute to construction of meaning?

Representation

  • How do texts reflect, represent or form a part of culture?
  • Is the act of representation problematic?
  • How do representation reveal and conceal underlying values or attitudes?
  • How does language represent social distinctions and identities?

 

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