Tuesday, January 23, 2007
lawnscience question #2
Today's lawnscience question is a more general one, though one that comes up over and over again in the science policy literature: What duties do researchers have to focus their attention on issues that society considers pressing? The alternative is to look more at issues that either the researcher herself feels are important, interesting, or necessary (i.e., the "pure science" question) or the researcher's funders feel are important, interesting, or necessary. Philip Kitcher tackles this problem in Science, Truth, and Democracy, and tries to come up with a workable and principled medium, but I'm interested in seeing what people think in general.