The Scientist’s Education and a Civic Conscience
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
A civic science curriculum is advocated. We discuss practical mechanisms for (and highlight the possible benefits of) addressing the relationship between scientific knowledge and civic responsibility coextensively with rigorous scientific content. As a strategy, we suggest an in-course treatment of well known (and relevant) historical and contemporary controversies among scientists over science policy or the use of sciences. The scientific content of the course is used to understand the controversy and to inform the debate while allowing students to see the role of scientists in shaping public perceptions of science and the value of scientific inquiry, discoveries and technology in society. The examples of the activism of Linus Pauling, Alfred Nobel and Joseph Rotblat as scientists and engaged citizens are cited. We discuss the role of science professors in informing the social conscience of students and consider ways in which a treatment of the function of science in society may find, coherently, a meaningful space in a science curriculum at the college level. Strategies for helping students to recognize early the crucial contributions that science can make in informing public policy and global governance are discussed.
- Beck, TM, Kauffman, GB (1994) Scientific methodology and ethics in university education. Journal of Chemical Education 71: pp. 922-924 CrossRef
- Brown, GI (1998) The big bang: A history of explosives. Sutton, Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire
- Butcher, S. I. (2005). Origins of the Russell–Einstein Manifesto. Pugwash History Series, 1. http://www.pugwash.org/publication/phs/history9.pdf (accessed May 21, 2012).
- Chemistry and Policy. (2006). Chemistry and policy: A course intersection. http://serc.carleton.edu/sencer/chemistry_policy/index.html (accessed August 24, 2012).
- Coles, R (1993) The call of service. Hougton Mifflin, Boston and New York
- Coppola, BP, Smith, DH (1996) A case for ethics. Journal of Chemical Education 73: pp. 33-34 CrossRef
- Davenport, DA (1996) Letters to F. J. Allen: An informal portrait of Linus Pauling. Journal of Chemical Education 73: pp. 21-28 CrossRef
- Davis, M (1998) Thinking like an engineer. Oxford University Press, New York
- Du Bois, W. E. B. (1989). The souls of black folk. New York: Bantam Classic (text reprinted from the 1953 Blue Heron edition). A copy is available at the University of Virginia (UVA) Library’s Electronic Text Center: http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/DubSoul.html (Chapter 5, p. 61.; accessed May 26, 2012).
- Epstein, MS (1998) Using bad science to teach good chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education 75: pp. 1399-1404 CrossRef
- Guardian. (2005) Sir Joseph Rotblat. The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2005/sep/02/obituaries.obituaries (accessed May 17, 2012).
- Hager, T (1995) Force of nature: The life of Linus Pauling. Simon and Schuster, New York
- Hager, T (2008) The alchemy of air. Harmony Books, New York
- Hoffmann, R The material and spiritual rationales are inseparable. In: Kovac, J, Weisberg, M eds. (2012) Roald Hoffman on the philosophy, art and science of chemistry. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 360-376
- Kamb, B, Pauling, LC (1959) The effects of strontium-90 on mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 45: pp. 54-69 CrossRef
- Kauffman, GB, Kauffman, LM (1996) An Interview with Linus Pauling. Journal of Chemical Education 73: pp. 29-32 CrossRef
- Kovac, J (1999) A weird insult from Norway: Linus Pauling as public intellectual. Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal 82: pp. 91-106
- Kovac, J (2007) Moral rules, moral ideals and use-inspired research. Science and Engineering Ethics 13: pp. 159-169 CrossRef
- Kovac, J, Coppola, BP (2000) Universities as moral communities. Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal 83: pp. 765
- Kovac, J, Sherwood, DW (2001) Writing across the chemistry curriculum: An instructor’s handbook. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River
- McHale, JL (1994) Current events as subjects for term papers in an honors freshman chemistry class. Journal of Chemical Education 71: pp. 313-314 CrossRef
- Middlecamp, CH (2006) Chemistry, society, and civic engagement (part 1): The SENCER project. Journal of Chemical Education 83: pp. 1301 CrossRef
- Newman, JR (1959) Four approaches to the problem of preventing a third world war. Scientific American 200: pp. 155 CrossRef
- Nobel, A. (2012) http://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/will/will-full.html (accessed June 2, 2012).
- Nobel Prize. (2012) http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/ (accessed June 2, 2012).
- Oppenheimer, JR (1955) The open mind. Simon and Schuster, New York
- Pauling, LC (1958) Genetic and somatic effects of carbon-14: This by-product of nuclear-weapon testing may do more genetic and somatic damage than has been supposed. Science 128: pp. 1183-1186 CrossRef
- Pontin, JA, Aricó, E, Pitoscio Filho, J, Tiedemann, PW, Isuyama, FGC (1993) Interactive chemistry teaching units developed with the help of the local chemical industry: Applying classroom principles to the real needs of local companies to help students develop skill in teamwork, communications, and problem solving. Journal of Chemical Education 70: pp. 223-226 CrossRef
- Reiss, MJ (1999) Teaching ethics in science. Studies in Science Education 34: pp. 115-140 CrossRef
- Rotblat, J (2002) Citizenship and science. Physics Education 37: pp. 186-189 CrossRef
- Rotblat, J. (2005). The 50-year shadow. The New York Times. OP-Ed contribution, May 17, 2005. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/17/opinion/17Rotblat.html?_r=1 (accessed May 26, 2012).
- SENCER. (2012). SENCER: Science education for new civic engagements and responsibility. http://www.sencer.net/ (accessed August 26, 2012).
- Ståhle, NK (1962) Nobel, the man and his prize. Elsevier, Amsterdam
- The Scientist’s Education and a Civic Conscience
Science and Engineering Ethics
Volume 19, Issue 3 , pp 1229-1240
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Science education
- Social responsibility