- Pages: 3
- Word count: 507
- Category: Science
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The scientist, far from being mans friend, is today his greatest enemy. How far do youagree with this statement?For the past century, science has been viewed as a tool of enlightenment, allowing Man togain insights into the secrets of Mother Nature, and enabling him to manipulate thiscognizance for the greater good of Mankind. As such, scientists are viewed with great respectand admiration, not only for their gifted intellect, but as well as their service to Mankind. Assuch, I would disagree with the statement. However, it is also possible for scientists to err,and if they do so, such a view is justified. In this capitalist age, scientists are often driven by avarice and their lust for fame rather than to help people. However, scientists are often notthe true wielders of the power of science. They are acting on the commands of higherauthorities. The nature of the area of research can also be problematic in the first place, andthis might spark controversy among people.To judge a scientist, it would be relevant to first gain knowledge on his motives for research.For many, the allure of prosperity and fame is difficult to resist. The prospect of a future lifeof luxury leads many scientists to contemplate acting or even acting against their values. Nottoo long, a Korean scientist claimed to have had unprecedented finding in the area of genetics.
He managed to gain fame overnight, but under the scrutiny of the scientificcommunity, flaws in his work were detected and indicated that he had falsified his findings.The public responded rancorously, and it brought shame to him and his country. If a scientistis willing to compromise on his integrity to satisfy his need, the effect it would have on Manis often adverse. In the case where a scientist develops a potentially harmful drug butmanages to successfully pass it off as treatment, the consequences could be unthinkable. At a cursory glance, it would seem that scientists control their work as they are the onescarrying it out. However, more often than not, scientists are not acting based on their will.
The true wielders of the scientists discoveries are often higher powers such as despoticgovernments or rapacious corporations. In North Korea, much of the countrys already meager GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is used to further the advancement of nucleartechnology and to create weapons of mass destruction. Under the regime of the late Kim IlSung, it would be virtually impossible for any scientist to defy him. To act against Kims will would be tantamount to committing suicide, and even worse, the massacre of their families. Hitler also managed to ride on the credibility of the scientists to justify his own pseudo-science to support the carnage of millions of Jews across Europe. Pharmaceutical firms likePfizer and Merck devote only about 5% of their total expenditure on research to battlediseases ravaging the tropics as those people would not be able to afford the treatmentanyway. Therefore, it is clear scientists do not have much control over their research after allas they obtain funds from these higher powers.