What Are The Scientific Attitudes And Values Possesed By Scientists?


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Matthew Porter answered
There is no precise answer to your question - different scientists will have different attitudes and values depending on their personality and the field of science in which they operate, among other factors. However, it would be fair to say that the scientific community as a whole shares some loosely similar values that could be perceived as common scientific values.

These could include:

• Curiosity about the world
Science is an ongoing pursuit of knowledge and explanations about the world around us. Scientists should have the eagerness to learn about the world in order to motivate them to continue to work.

• Being logical and systematic
The basis of scientific knowledge is that all explanations are testable and that studies are carried out methodically. Aristotle described scientific knowledge as "a body of reliable knowledge that can be logically and rationally explained".

• Open-mindedness
A scientist needs to be able to disregard or modify their hypotheses based on their studies, rather than stubborn stick to them in spite of the results of their research. They should also be open to the ideas of others.

• Intellectual honesty
Scientists should attribute work of other scientists wherever and whenever it is warranted. Isaac Newton, for instance, acknowledged that he was building upon the previous work of Galileo. Scientists should also give a truthful report of their honesty - they should not withhold important information because it suits them to do so.

A popular term in scientific circles is the phrase 'scientific imperialism', which appears to have been invented by Dr Ellis T Powell, who addressed the Commonwealth Club of Canada on 8 September 1920. Dr Powell referred to 'scientific imperialism' as "the subjection of all the developed and undeveloped powers of the earth to the mind of man".

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