How Do Beliefs About the World, and Beliefs About What Is Valuable, Influence the Pursuit of Knowledge? Tok

Topics: Science, Scientific method, Morality Pages: 4 (1189 words) Published: October 27, 2008
The pursuit of scientific knowledge has often been believed to be an exploration in which information is gathered solely from experimentation, but people are slow to realize that experimentation is only one way, among a variety of ways, in which scientists gather information. In their pursuit of new scientific knowledge, scientists may conduct surveys, or build on pre-existing information using assumptions and theories, along with experimentation, in order to obtain knowledge in any particular scientific field. That which the scientists determine as knowledge, however, does not always mirror that which the public receives as new scientific knowledge. Along the path of distribution of this knowledge, the influences of economics, morality and political beliefs can taint pure scientific knowledge discovered by the scientist.

In almost all fields of new research, scientists seeking to gain new knowledge encounter inadequate funding. Whether the money is needed new lab equipment or field research or other such projects, sufficient funding is almost always unattainable. Because so little is known about this new field of study, the public is scared and few are willing to support it. Once more information is discovered and scientists acknowledge the importance of that field, more funding is gradually provided, and more scientists, furthering the pursuit of knowledge, conduct more research in this field. The required funding is only provided after the scientists present data persuasive enough to promote further studies in that. Also, because of the lucrative business opportunities of such a discovery, a scientist may be unwilling to share his knowledge unless he has been rewarded.

Next to interfere with the pursuit of scientific knowledge is morality. Just as information that is not "politically correct" cannot be released because it may be discredited, scientists cannot release immoral or scandalous information because it may shock the public and scare them away...
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