The Myth: Science as a Public Good
I am not advocating the products, groups, or people in this video!
Ok, this is a long video but the First Minute is the main subject here. Is Science a "Universal Public Good"? Well, the problem ends up being the fact that Science and Technology, no matter the intentions, can be used for harm. I wish I could tell you that Engineering new electronics to be lighter and faster will never be used to harm another person, but that simply isn't true.
I wish I could tell you that the science of biochemistry being used to develop a strain of neurotoxin will always have specific results and only one application, but that is not true either. The thing we must remember about science is we learn more from the things we don't expect, than from the things we do.
And Science as a whole really is about the unknown. A true scientist will not go around, telling you about how he understands relativity on such a universal level that he can calculate on your wall how fast you would have to be going in order to live an extra two years. In fact, a true scientist revels in the fact that he DOESN'T know everything about the universe, and seeks to inform others of subjects he knows about in hopes that they may be able to shed led on the subject themselves.
So, let's take a good look at this then. If science intended for good, can do harm, and vice versa, how can we say Science is a "Universal Public Good"?
The issue isn't within science. The issue lies within the idea of a "Universal Public Good". Everyone is different, and everyone has different ideas about what a technology can do for them.
I think the real question we should ask, is there such a thing as a "Universal Public Good"?