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Title Ivory Ghetto, The
Subject Science
Description The 33rd Annual Frederick William Reynolds Lecture
Creator Dick, Bertram Gale, 1926-
Publisher Division of Continuing Education, University of Utah
Date 1969-02-17
Date Digital 2008-05-29
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications Original scanned on Epson Expression 10000XL flatbed scanner and saved as 400 ppi uncompressed tiff. Display images generated in PhotoshopCS and uploaded into CONTENTdm Aquisition Station.
Resource Identifier,898
Source Q171 .D525
Language eng
Relation Digital reproduction of "The Ivory Ghetto," J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections
Rights Digital Image Copyright University of Utah
Metadata Cataloger Seungkeol Choe; Ken Rockwell
ARK ark:/87278/s62v2d2c
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-07-29
ID 320157
Reference URL

Page Metadata

Title Page 8
Description 8 THE THIRTY-THIRD ANNUAL REYNOLDS LECTURE a human institution, activity or preoccupation that has not been changed in some significant way by the rise of science. As a single example, consider how even our moral dilemmas have been enlarged by scientific knowledge. Once enough physiology and pharmacology are understood to produce contraceptive pills, we may urge their use or not. Given the existence of the pill, it may be ignored or used, but either course involves a moral decision which would not be forced on us in the absence of the scientific knowledge. There are, of course, thousands of such examples. The roles of science in delineating the possible and of technology in realizing it have the most profound effects on our lives; no one who lives in a modern industrial society, whether he has any intimate acquaintance with science or not, can be unaware of this fact. Right there we have the puzzle which I've been talking about, and which Barzun4 sums up in the form of a question. "How can one explain the paradox of a society which is bound by so ardent a faith to one undertaking, yet by and large holds its mind from it, saying it lacks time and talent to do anything but remain ignorant?" Viewed in this context the gap between scientists and non-scientists no longer appears as an amusing example of insularity. It becomes a disturbing puzzle. How did it get that way? What are the consequences of this state of affairs? Are the consequences good, bad or indifferent? If good, how can the status quo be maintained; if bad, how can it be corrected; if indifferent, how can we protect ourselves against lectures on the subject? As to how it got that way: unquestionably the scientists must take a big part of the blame for producing and maintaining the gap. Scientific writing and lecturing are noted for indigestibility and obscurity, a sad state of affairs since science is supposed to be, above all else, clear. If it isn't reasonably clear, it isn't science. But there are temptations and delights in obscurantism. Being high priest in an arcane cult of widely acknowledged importance is not necessarily an unpleasant role. When the theory of relativity first began to excite people's imaginations, someone, probably a journalist with a flair, said something about there being only a handful of men in the world capable of understanding it. Every sophomore physics student who studies it now can be forgiven the sinful pride he feels in learning about relativity and thereby putting himself together with that mythical handful. The satisfactions within the still somewhat cloistered world of physics are substantial. The apprenticeship is arduous; the sweets of feeling that one is part of an exclusive brotherhood are pleasant. Indulging in these "goodies" cannot be altogether concealed, and the suspicion of intellectual arrogance clings to the partaker. This is resented and the gap widens a bit more. 4 J. Barzun, Science, the Glorious Entertainment (Harper and Row, 1964).
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 010-RNLT-DickG_ Page 8.jpg
Source Original Manuscript: The Ivory Ghetto by Bertram G. Dick.
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-07-29
ID 320142
Reference URL