The Effect Of The Social Context Of Scientific Work On The Methods And Findings Of Science

930 words - 4 pages

The Effect of the Social Context of Scientific Work on the Methods and Findings of Science

The world society is in a constant state of fluidity regarding
everything from social customs and slang to technology and
inventions. With even more abundance, scientific understanding and
questioning evolve as time progresses. As the human race changes and
grows, scientific knowledge of the world and universe must expand to
accommodate the growth. To a large extent, the social situations
surrounding the scientific work affect the specific sciences that are

Historically, the use of science to explain natural phenomenon has
existed for many centuries. Ancient establishments such as Stonehenge
and Mayan temples demonstrate that these otherwise underdeveloped
cultures had accurately grasped such scientific concepts as astronomy
and its effect on the sun, weather, and the tides. Just as this
science was a necessity for the Mayans, for example, to regulate crops
based on the measured passage of time, more modernizing societies have
an inevitable demand for modernizing scientific acquisitions.

Scientific explorations result from the desire or requirement to
explain certain unknowns. Scientists recognized or studied today are
those that were once able to elucidate scientific mysteries, such as
Pavlov’s illumination of behavioral response or Mendel’s simple
explanation of genetic inheritance. In these situations, the outcome
of the investigation had significant social implications. People later
recognized the importance of such findings, and pressed for more
information. This resulted in the continuation, even to present-day,
of research in the fields of behavioral psychology and genetics.
Therefore, societal and social interest in early scientific
examinations provides the building blocks that support modern or more
advanced research of the same fields.

Oftentimes, the types of scientific research performed are those that
supply information needed in a particular societal context. If a
certain epidemic breaks out in an area, for example, scientists may
gear their research toward the cure for the illness.

On a much larger scale lies the example of the historically, socially,
and scientifically significant experimentation revolving around both
space exploration and the creation of the atomic bomb. During the
Cold War, the U.S. and Russia both strived to be the leading country

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