Activists against the “climate change” such as Last Generation are drawing into their activism more and more scientists. Greta Thunberg once asked her audiences that she wants the world listen to the scientists. Now that also scientists in some cases become activists themselves the discussion of such political engagement of scientists become a hefty argument.
Similar was the situation in the US in the late 1960ies about the war in Vietnam and the atomic bomb, the science research for military exploits. Take the case of Joseph Weizenbaum who protested at his workplace at the MIT against the contributions to warfare by MIT’s research.
Since the problem has not changed up today there must be a deeper reason for it. In fact – and this is the idea of a hint that comes to my mind and why I would want to drop this comment today – it is the separation of science – in German we say “Naturwissenschaften” – from philosophy. I understand philosophy as connecting believes, morality, holistic thinking. In philosophy there is also a long term view possible of a “whole picture” of the world, whereas the analytical and detailed view of the world looses such holistic views with every inch it moves forward in more and more detailed reasearch.
This seems to be an unsolvable problem. In fact, the political engagement of all sorts of people, not only scientists, but especially scientists, seem to become a spare-time hobby of moralists. Just as if moral responsibility was a spare-time occupation whereas it should be the inner carrying pillow of any person, be it a scientist, a politician, or someone from the economic field.
I can’t suggest a solution to this basic problem of our technologically advanced society, as such a solution would question the basic assumptions of how “science” has to be and a “scientist” to be as a social being or a human, a man, at all. People from the science who walk outside their “churches” tend to either be burned (“social shitstorm”, mediatic murder…) or ridiculed… Seems that there is no error and “imagination” allowed. Inhuman infallibility rules our science. Why? Because it is a marketing tool.
The perversion of human life through marketing is the deeper reason for this problem. Remedies exist only in very small doses, to be given individually… and beware!