Foundations of Science

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 51–67 | Cite as

Science, Respect for Nature, and Human Well-Being: Democratic Values and the Responsibilities of Scientists Today

  • Hugh LaceyEmail author


The central question addressed is: How should scientific research be conducted so as to ensure that nature is respected and the well being of everyone everywhere enhanced? After pointing to the importance of methodological pluralism for an acceptable answer and to obstacles posed by characterizing scientific methodology too narrowly, which are reinforced by the ‘commercial-scientific ethos’, two additional questions are considered: How might research, conducted in this way, have impact on—and depend on—strengthening democratic values and practices? And: What is thereby implied for the responsibilities of scientists today?


Sustainability Human well-being Neutrality Impartiality  Commercial-scientific ethos Responsibilities of scientists 



Context-sensitive strategies: strategies that are not reducible to DSs.


Decontextualizing strategies: under which, admissible theories are constrained so that they can represent phenomena and encapsulate their possibilities in terms of how they are related to underlying structures and their components, process and interactions, and the laws that govern them; and empirical data are selected, and reported using descriptive categories that are generally quantitative, and applicable in virtue of measurement, instrumental and experimental operations. Representing phenomena in this way dissociates them from their context.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MontclairUSA
  2. 2.Universidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Swarthmore College500 CollegeSwarthmoreUSA

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