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Hello again.

June 27, 2011

 

So, I seem to have neglected the blog for a bit.  I do have good intentions every day of writing but then I spend so much time reading and thinking that there is no time left for writing.  Or perhaps I spend too much time thinking about too many things to focus on any one thing to write about.

 

Whatever.

 

Yesterday I watched “Real Genius” with my daughter.  That movie includes one of my most favorite lines: “It’s a moral imperative”.  Do you remember “Real Genius”?  The geniuses in the movie build a very powerful laser without wondering about the end use of the laser.   I think that this happens often with science because pure science is usually independent of the practical applications.  Actually, I discussed this topic with my other daughter recently.  Scientific progress is not right or wrong.  The application of the science could be but the knowledge is just information.

 

Seeing the movie did make me think about my work.  Do I really want to be a participant in research which I strongly suspect will be used for purposes that I don’t agree with?  I don’t.  So what do I do?  When we complete studies and publish the results, we can’t control how those results are used.  Perhaps the answer is to not publish results which might be “misused”.  Or to focus my efforts on educating the people most likely to affect the real-world application of research.

 

Ugh.  There are no easy answers.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2011 10:45 am

    Instead of answering your tough moral quandry, I think I’ll pop up the really genius Real Genius on Netflix.

    It’s a moral imperitive.

  2. Michele permalink*
    June 29, 2011 1:10 pm

    It is!

    I think that War Games might be next for us …

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