Scientists Do Not Work for the Benefit of Humanity

This leads me to comment upon the opinion, held by many people, that the scientist is a completely altruistic being, devoting himself selflessly to the pursuit of truth, solely in order Jo contribute to the welfare of humanity. I do not intend it as a derogation of men whom I cherish when I say that this is, in my experience, not really the basic motivation for any of them, and as additional motivation it is more often absent than present. That they do, in fact, expend themselves in activities which are a very real contribution to humanity is the good luck of society. That what they do does make such a social contribution may, indeed, give great satisfaction to them and may even make the meagerness of their financial rewards more tolerable. (I do feel that this meagerness does not speak well for society which derives such great profit for so little expenditure of support or recognition.) There are those among them, however, who have never given spontaneous thought to such considerations. Indeed, as a psychologist, I must say that I should be very doubtful of the emotional health of any individual who thought he "gave up" all personal interests to "serve humanity." As an additional motive that serves to channel personal interests in a particular way, as was the case with one of the psychologists whose life you read, it is a different matter. This is genuine dedication and a healthy one.


They work out of curiosity, we're just lucky that they also benefit society.

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Psychology (0.948385): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Mental health professional (0.574810): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Variable cost (0.517591): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Cost-benefit analysis (0.466830): dbpedia
English-language films (0.459868): dbpedia
Cost (0.429319): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Luck (0.428840): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Altruism (0.427959): dbpedia | freebase

 The Making of a Scientist
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Roe, Anne (1974-02-04), The Making of a Scientist, Praeger, Retrieved on 2011-05-20
Folksonomies: psychology sociology studies