Science and Civilization

Science and Civilization

Science and Civilization

Science and Civilization

Excerpt

The conflict between the demands of narrow specialization and broad understanding poses a tremendous problem for the educated man living in our present complex technical society. Among today's specialists the scientists have achieved most spectacular successes by their intensive concentration of effort upon isolated problems. It would be futile to deplore their specialization, and it would be unjust to forget that scientists as a group are becoming increasingly concerned over the general social implications of their individual discoveries. Nevertheless specialized research demands interpretation--not only of its technical implications but of its general implications as well. And so modern science, which to the layman so often seems a conglomeration of esoteric detail or even a variety of magic, can achieve its full potential value only when it is made understandable by extensive and intelligent interpretation.

The understanding of science in all its major aspects, a problem as important to the specialist as to the layman, demands the fusion of many different approaches. With this in mind the History of Science group at the University of Wisconsin, with the generous support of the University's Centennial Committee, invited a group of scholars to discuss aspects of the problem of science and civilization, one of the symposia held in celebration of the centennial year.

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