Friday, July 24, 2020

The Duty of Scientists

Hardly a day passes but some new statement is issued by frantic scientists, urging humanity to realise the threat which the climate emergency represents to its future. While they glumly warn us of the danger; they optimistically urge some sort of international collaboration to prevent global warming. Of this hope under capitalism, it is a waste of time to write about. The notion that the climate crises can become less of a threat if all nations jointly cooperate is quaint. It is as if one believed thieves are more honourable than the other.

The scientist has always been an especially respected and revered figure, Such stereotypes are not undeserved despite the fact that many scientists have sold their services to corporations but regardless there may perhaps still been a higher devotion to humanity among scientists than among most other professional groups. The scientist was supposed to stick to his own field and not be concerned with social problems; and most of them conformed to this pattern. The role of the scientist was simply that of one who made possible by his discoveries great advances for mankind. Whether mankind properly utilised these discoveries was not the scientists’ business.

Discoveries in physics, chemistry, biology could be utilized for construction or destruction, to be utilised for good or evil in accordance with man’s skill at social organisation. And there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the bulk of the scientists hoped they would be used to make man’s life better. The attitude of socialists has been similar. We hailed scientific discoveries as signs of human progress, despite the possibility that such discoveries might later be misused – and we believe they were right, too. for without such discoveries a society of plenty and leisure such as socialists want would be impossible from the very start.

However, today, scientific bodies are NOT engaged in projects which was socially “neutral,” and the value of which would be determined by the use to which it was later put. The time is past when the scientists could divorce themselves from common social concerns; The scientist can no longer remain a folk-hero but become a responsible member of society. Scientists who live up to this standard must learn that the security and well-being of all humanity, depends on the triumph of socialism. Otherwise they will merely be complicit as mankind fall further into an abyss where more terrible things to come. Every human being who desires to put an end to this society of war and starvation, must find his or her place in assembling a revolutionary world socialist movement,

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