I have really been thinking about how Kitcher states that to set the ground for an open discussion a scientist “has to advance public understanding of the questions with which she’s concerned and to encourage people outside science to appreciate the point of the inquiries that she and her colleagues undertake” (pg 196). However what dictates that one do this? Why should the public be continually informed of what is going on in science?
There is the obvious answer that if it is research funded by public money that individuals have the right to know where their money is going. But, outside of this reason, why should the public be made aware and in turn educated? Is it really only so that an open discussion regarding a scientist’s line of inquiry can be held? I fine this difficult to believe. For you see programs and organizations all over the US trying to educate people about certain types of diseases and cancers, and steps of preventions in regards to these diseases and cancers. I see such information as important and beneficial to others and their well-being, and that this reason is a main motivator for wanting to make the public aware.
However, does this mean that all scientists should inform the public in some form about their line of inquiry in regards to the implications that it can have? Or should some of the responsibility also be left up to the public?