For the past fifty years, science and technology-supported with billions of dollars from the U.S. government-have advanced at a rate that would once have seemed miraculous, while society's problems have grown more intractable, complex, and diverse. Yet scientists and politicians alike continue to prescribe more science and more technology to cure such afflictions as global climate change, natural resource depletion, overpopulation, inadequate health care, weapons proliferation, and economic inequality.Daniel Sarewitz scrutinizes the fundamental myths that have guided the formulation of science policy for half a century-myths that serve the professional and political interests of the scientific community, but often fail to advance the interests of society as a whole. His analysis ultimately demonstrates that stronger linkages between progress in science and progress in society will require research agendas that emerge not from the intellectual momentum of science, but from the needs and goals of society.
Daniel Sarewitz worked for four years on science policy issues for the U.S. Congress, first as a Congressional Science Fellow, and then as science consultant to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives. He now directs the Institute for Environmental Education at the Geological Society of America.
Preface 1. The End of the Age of Physics Science and Technology Policy * Policy Goals and Policy Myths * Beyond the Age of Physics: Science, Technology, and Reality 2. The Myth of Infinite Benefit 3. The Myth of Unfettered Research External Fetters: Teapot in a Tempest * Internal Fetters: The Maleness of the System * Unfettered Reality 4. The Myth of Accountability 5. The Myth of Authoritativeness DNA Fingerprinting: Disorder in the Court * Global Climate Change: An Atmosphere of Uncertainty * Stratospheric Ozone Depletion: Getting It Right (by Accident) * Authoritative Politics 6. The Myth of the Endless Frontier Endless Frontier, Finite Earth * Moral Science 7. Pas de Trois: Science, Technology, and the Marketplace The Sound of Invisible Hands Clapping * Nobody's Partner 8. Science as a Surrogate for Social Action Sickness Care * The Best Defense * Tailoring People to Taste 9. Toward a New Mythology Five Policy Suggestions * 1. Expanding Diversity * 2. Integrating the Human Element * 3. Honest Brokers * 4. Introducing Democracy * 5. The Global R&D Community * The Search for Ellipses Notes Index