Davy On Science as a Force for Good

By relating the human predicament to the scientific solution, Davy produced one of the great demonstrations of scientific ‘Hope’. He showed that applied science could be a force for good previously unparalleled in human society, and might gradually liberate mankind from untold misery and suffering. Deliberately echoing Bacon — as Lavoisier had once done — he claimed that scientific knowledge was a disinterested power for good: ‘The results of these labours will, I trust, be useful to the cause of science, by proving that even the most apparently abstract philosophical truths may be connected with applications to the common wants and purposes of life. The gratification of the love of knowledge is delightful to every refined mind; but a much higher motive is offered in indulging it, when that knowledge is felt to be practical power, and when that power may be applied to lessen the miseries or increase the comforts of our fellow-creatures.’96 This would become the central credo of the next generation of young Victorian scientists, and notably of Michael Faraday.


Scientific knowledge as a "disinterested power for good."

Folksonomies: science virtue good

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Scientific method (0.814315): dbpedia | freebase
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Society (0.643674): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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Scientist (0.485690): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 The Age of Wonder
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Holmes , Richard (2010-03-02), The Age of Wonder, Vintage, Retrieved on 2012-01-02
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: history enlightenment science