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Scientific freedom is the idea of freedom (in the sense of Freedom of thought and Freedom of the press) applied to natural science, in particular the practices of scientific research and discourse, mainly by publication. The ideal is promoted by many organizations of scientists, and is the subject of article 15 ¶ 3 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

One classic defence of the idea is in Michael Polanyi's book, Personal Knowledge (1958). Polanyi criticized the common view that the scientific method is purely objective and generates objective knowledge. Polanyi cast this view as a misunderstanding of the scientific method and of the nature of scientific inquiry, generally. He argued that scientists do and must follow personal passions in appraising facts and in determining which scientific questions to investigate. He concluded that a structure of liberty is essential for the advancement of science - that the freedom to pursue science for its own sake is a prerequisite for the production of knowledge through peer review and the scientific method.[1] Polanyi subsequently co-founded the Society for Freedom in Science.[2]

See also

Awards and associations:

References

  1. ^ Michael Polanyi (1958). Personal Knowledge.  
  2. ^ William McGucken (1978). "On Freedom and Planning in Science: The Society for Freedom in Science 1940–1946". Minerva 16: 42–72.  

Further reading

  • David B. Resnik (1998). The Ethics of Science. Routledge. pp. 54–55. ISBN 0415166985.  
  • Kenneth F. Schaffner (1982). "Biomedical Knowldge: Progress and Priorities". in William B. Bondeson. New Knowledge in the Biomedical Sciences. Springer. pp. 133–134. ISBN 9789027713193.  
  • J. T. Edsall (1975). "Scientific Freedom and Responsibility: Report of the AAAS Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility". Science 188 (4189): 689.  
  • W. P. Metzger (Spring 1978). "Academic Freedom and Scientific Freedom". Daedalus 107 (2): 93–114.  
  • Kristin Sharon Shrader-Frechette (1994). Ethics of Scientific Research. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0847679403.  
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