Policy Sciences

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 391–396 | Cite as

Science is not value-free

  • Archie J. Bahm


The scientific attitude involves a willingness to be objective. But many falsely assume additionally that such willingness implies being completely value-free. Actually, scientific research is value-saturated. At every step one faces the question, “Which is the best way?” Not only is it better to be than not to be scientific, scientists believe, but one ought to seek what is best relative to all aspects of science. Exploration is limited to (1) problems, (2) attitude and (3) methods. Even prejudice, which is evil when bias prevents or produces false results, may also be good when it helps produce true conclusions. Do policy scientists have special obligations regarding this issue?


Economic Policy Policy Scientist False Result Scientific Attitude True Conclusion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Elsevier Publishing Company 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Archie J. Bahm
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New MexicoAlbuquerque

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