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By C. Mitcham

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Extra resources for Encyclopedia of science, technology and ethics [Vol 4]

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By the end of World War II and the detonation of the first nuclear weapons the acceleration of the development of science-based technology was inescapable. Throughout society science was recognized as a source of change and progress whose benefits, even if not always equally shared, were hard to dismiss. Central to this change in perspective was acceptance of the phrase basic research and, at least in policy and political settings, the gradual obsolescence of the term pure research. The term basic came without the pejorative notion associated with lack of purity imputed to practically focused work.

Science—The Endless Frontier. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Although its institutional recommendations were never fully adopted, this report is often referred to as setting the intellectual framework for thinking about science and its relationship to society for the post-World War II era. Daddario, Emilio. (1974). ’’ Daedelus 103: 135–142. Daniels, George H. (1967). ’’ Science 156: 1699–1706. Dubos, Rene´. (1961). ’’ Science 133: 1207–1211. Dupree, A. Hunter. (1957). Science in the Federal Government: A History of Policies and Activities to 1940.

Daniel Sarewitz offers a penetrating critique of current policy and general steps that would pull research closer to society without sacrificing critical values of science. In particular he recommends research on research: ‘‘how it can be directed in a man170 4 ner most consistent with social and cultural norms and goals, and how it actually influences society’’ (Sarewitz 1996, p. 180). Donald Stokes (1995) resolves the dichotomy between research driven by purely scientific criteria and research responsive to societal needs by changing the single basic-versus-applied axis into a twodimensional plane, with one dimension indicating the degree to which research is guided by a desire to understand nature, and the other indicating the degree it is guided by practical considerations.

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