Article by Marcia McNutt and Michael Crow: “Therefore, we believe the scientific community must more fully embrace its vital role in producing and disseminating knowledge in democratic societies. In Science in a Democratic Society, philosopher Philip Kitcher reminds us that “science should be shaped to promote democratic ideals.” To produce outcomes that advance the public good, scientists must also assess the moral bases of their pursuits. Although the United States has implemented the democratically driven, publicly engaged, scientific culture that Vannevar Bush outlined in Science, the Endless Frontier in 1945, Kitcher’s moral message remains relevant to both conducting science and communicating the results to the public, which pays for much of the enterprise of scientific discovery and technological innovation. It’s on scientists to articulate the moral and public values of the knowledge that they produce in ways that can be understood by citizens and decisionmakers.
However, by organizing themselves largely into groups that rarely reach beyond their own disciplines and by becoming somewhat disconnected from their fellow citizens and from the values of society, many scientists have become less effective than will be necessary in the future. Scientific culture has often left informing or educating the public to other parties such as science teachers, journalists, storytellers, and filmmakers. Instead, scientists principally share the results of their research within the narrow confines of academic and disciplinary journals…(More)”.