Where science and ethics meet

Gregory M. Lamb in the Christian Science Monitor:

P14bThroughout history scientists from Galileo to Andrei Sakharov have been persecuted for challenging the orthodoxy of their societies. But in The Scientist as Rebel, Freeman Dyson advocates rebellion of a broader kind.

Science, the theoretical physicist writes, should rebel “against poverty and ugliness and militarism and economic injustice.” Benjamin Franklin is Dyson’s ideal of the scientific rebel, one who embodied “thoughtful rebellion, driven by reason and calculation more than by passion and hatred.” If science ever stops rebelling against authority, Dyson insists, it won’t deserve to be pursued by our brightest children.

In this highly readable compilation of previously published essays and book reviews written over nearly four decades, Dyson also rebels against the idea that scientists should only concern themselves with the problems of the laboratory.

More here.