Serving the interests of science?

I am reading  Francis Collins’ latest book, ‘Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith’ (HarperOne, 2010). It’s a collection of excerpts from writers who have influenced him. It’s such a  diverse collection – I’ve picked up a number of new authors for my reading wish list (i.e. I wish I had time to read them).

I like this quote from the Dalai Lama because I’m intrigued by the thought of ‘humanity serving the interests of science’.

Perhaps the most important point is to ensure that science never becomes divorced from the basic human feeling of empathy with our fellow beings. Just as one’s fingers can function only in relation to the palm, so scientists must remain aware of their connection to society at large. Science is vitally important, but it is only one finger of the hand of humanity, and its greatest potential can be actualized only so long as we are careful to remember this. Otherwise, we risk losing our sense of priorities. Humanity may end up serving the interests of scientific progress rather than the other way around.

One thought on “Serving the interests of science?

  1. nicole July 22, 2010 / 2:25 pm

    thanks for sharing. science:humanity::one finger:hand fits in well with the notion of science as abstraction, or even fantasy — what would a single finger look like? abstraction is what makes science so powerful, but if the results of abstract inquiry are not brought back into the big picture, they are largely meaningless and sometimes dangerous. edith reitsema touched on this during her talks at this year’s christian postgrad conference


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