Boris Smus

interaction engineering

Science and Human Values

Broznowski tries really hard to impress with his breadth of knowledge. He constantly drops references to art, literature and philosophy to make his point. It's as if he is using himself as an example of a scientist who is also well versed in liberal art (there are dozens of us!!). I found most of the writing to be very fluffy, deliberately convoluted, and kind of annoying. I had a hard time finishing despite it being such a short read. I set the book down for a month, and returned to it later (upon returning from vacation).

In the first part, Broznowski makes the argument that science isn't in and of itself good or evil, but just a tool. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he attributes not to the invention of the atomic bomb, but to the politicians that chose to use it. Seems like a pretty basic argument, but also flawed and not new. Not being well versed in the philosophy of Science, not in a good position to judge it.

In the third and final essay, Broznowski considers science as a social institution, and compares it to the rest of society. This part I thought was interesting. Science has many attractive, democratic properties that I agree could really stand to be ported into other human domains.