Why Scientists Don't Tackle Social Problems

From time to time, people suggest to me that scientists ought to give more consideration to social problems--especially that they should be more responsible in considering the impact of science upon society. This same suggestion must be made to many other scientists, and it seems to be generally believed that if the scientists would only look at these very difficult social problems and not spend so much time fooling with the less vital scientific ones, great success would come of it.

It seems to me taht we do think about these problems from time to time, but we don't put full-time effort into them--the reason being that we know we don't have any magic formula for solving problems, that social problems are very much arder than scientific ones, and that we usually don't get anywhere when we do think about them.

I believe taht a scientist looking at noscientific problems is just as dumb as teh next guy--and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter.


Scientists are as dumb as anyone else at tackling non-scientific problems, that's why they stick to science.

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 The Value of Science from What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1988), The Value of Science from What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character, W.W. Norton and Company, Retrieved on 2010-11-13