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Essay on “Are the Scientists Responsible for the Misuse of Science?” Complete Essay, Paragraph, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Are the Scientists Responsible for the Misuse of Science?

Outline: Introduction – The view that scientists are not responsible for the misuse of Science – another view is that they can do much to prevent the misuse of Science – scientists are members of society which determines how Science is used.

Is the scientist concerned only with the discovery of truth and advancement of knowledge? Or is he also responsible for the use that is made of the results of his research? This question was not seriously asked till recently. It was assumed that the scientist was solely concerned with the search for truth, and that his discoveries and inventions were bound to be mainly beneficial to mankind. But on 6th August, 1945 the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The sudden and enormous destruction caused by the atom bomb stunned the world. The common man woke up to the darker side of the power of science and he began to ask the question “Who is responsible for such destruction—the governments who cause it or the scientists who make it possible by inventing deadly weapons. How can it be avoided in the future?”

Many scientists believe that they are not responsible for the use that is made of their work. One of the scientists who played a leading role in the invention of the atom bomb said: “A scientist cannot hold back progress because of fears of what the world will do with his discoveries.” It is argued that the scientist is concerned with the pursuit of truth, irrespective of its consequences. His motives are good, and if his discoveries are used for destructive purpose it is the society or the government concerned which is to blame.

Another view which is finding increasing favour is that the scientist cannot disown’ responsibility for the consequences of his research. Nowadays scientists are hired by powerful governments to work on the invention of destructive weapons of war. All-important scientific research is increasingly financed and controlled by governments, and the governments use the results of scientific research in any way that suits them.

In fact, at least in this nuclear age, the scientist must recognize that his primary duty is to benefit mankind. If scientists firmly believe in the constructive use of science, they can surely do something to prevent the misuse of science. They can form an international organisation with a strict code of conduct. As Galileo in Brecht’s play suggests, they may evolve something like the Hippocratic oath of the doctors, the vow to devote their knowledge wholly to the benefit of mankind. They could refuse to work for governments if they suspect that their work is going to be used for a destructive purpose. Anyway, it is for the scientists to think about what they can do to make science safe for humanity. They cannot just go on researching, free from all concern for the consequences of their work.

The problem, of course, is not so simple. It would be unfair to believe that the scientists are solely responsible for the fear and danger posed by science today. It is society including the government and a scientist which finally determines what use is made of science. To ask the scientist to foresee the use – the good or evil of the use – to which his results may be put is doubtless beyond the realm of the attainable. Almost any discovery may be used for either social or anti-social purposes. When Einstein wrote his famous transformation equation in 1905 he was not thinking of the atomic bomb, but out of the equation came one of the principles upon which the bomb was based.

Men and women can, by educating themselves, by developing conscience and force of character, and by influencing governments, prevent the destructive use of science. But scientists too are members of society, and as such they share the responsibility for the way science is used. In fact, we expect more help and leadership from them, since they are men of superior intellect and training. The scientist must realise that his duty is not only to extend the boundaries of knowledge but to contribute to human welfare.


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