How do you think the knowlege from dangerous or destructive scientific discoveries should be handled?take a stand and stae your opinion clearly. Use clear, coherent writing in your best style plzz...

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nofret eNotes educator| Certified Educator

  I think it all comes down to ethics, which if you ask 4 different people if somthing is ethical or not, you may get 4 different answers.  This is an age-long debate and something that is not clear-cut in science.  There are "gray" areas that make it a tough call whether something is right or wrong.  The answer to your question, therefore, is it would probably be a judgement call that would have to be made with each discovery in question.  For example, during world war II when how to make an atomic bomb was discovered, did we want to broadcast the information to the whole world the minute the discovery was made? No! Of course not!  We used it to our tactical advantage, as we should have done since we were at war.  On the other hand, if someone blows themselves to kingdom come trying to generate a fusion reaction, what they did would probably be a good thing to share with the scientific community so that no one duplicates the experiment with the same disasterous results.  I think it just depends on the situation and the discovery in question as to how it should be handled.

marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
How do you think the knowlege from dangerous or destructive scientific discoveries should be handled?

take a stand and stae your opinion clearly. Use clear, coherent writing in your best style plzz...

  I think that great care should be exercised in the release of destructive scientific knowledge and discoveries.  We need to consider the impact, whether negative or positive, that such knowledge will have on the public as a whole.  If the discovery is going to lead to mass panic or hysteria, and lead people to do things irrationally and disorderly, then perhaps the information is best withheld.

On the other hand, we as a people have the right to know something that is going to be a threat to our lives, especially if destruction was imminent.  If knowing about something can make us be more careful or watchful, then it's a wise thing to reveal it.


enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Open discourse is among the critical components of the scientific process. Nothing of itself is good or bad; it's use may be, and such usage should be discussed among those scientists who know the facts, and their recommendations should be assessed by the world at large.  Suppression of information because of ruler's fears of mass hysteria (or more precisely, their fear of losing position or control) effectively puts the scientific process under political censorship, leaving politicians to decide, who, by definition, have neither the technical expertise nor intellect to decide such matters.  What exists must be discussed; let guidelines, not gag orders, be developed.

No one today is worried that Galileo saw moons revolving around Jupiter.  Reason triumphed.  However, bishops and kings, 400 years ago, saw danger and destruction.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don’t know this for sure, but I would imagine that there is a code of ethics governing this issue. I find it hard to picture an academy of scientists not coming up with a formal set of guidelines. It would make sense that there would be protocols established for dangerous activities and experiments. Likewise, I expect that there would also be guidelines that the scientific community follows for disposing of the products of those activities, or storing them, or otherwise dealing with the outcomes. Otherwise, there would be many more accidents and mishaps such as Chernobyl.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
This is very tricky. When you start to control knowledge, there are problems. Controlling knowledge to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands is all fine and good, but where do you stop? Who decides what is going to be controlled? Who decides who has access to it?
krishna-agrawala | Student

Scientific discoveries or or scientific knowledge in it self is neither dangerous or comforting, destructive or constructive. Knowledge is neutral. It can can be put to some good use, bad use , or no use at all. It is up to individuals, institutions to decide how they want to use the knowledge available with them. I believe, we can fight inappropriate use of scientific knowledge only by developing and spreading a higher level of knowledge which enables us to distinguish between right and wrong, good and band, and which inspires us to follow the right path in face of desire for immediate personal benefits. This will involve a two pronged approach.

  1. Create an awareness about how in the long term destructive and dangerous use of science to harm and subdue other never pays.
  2. Improve the ethical standard of people, so that they are less likely to try to secure benefits for themselves at the cost of others.