Vol 144 No. 2, December 2015




Current scientific understanding and prevailing public opinion

Scientific research aims to generate new scientific knowledge that improves the accuracy of human understanding of the physical, biological and social world. Accomplishing this task is becoming increasingly challenging in keeping with the rapid growth of available information. The present generation of scientists and researchers are hard-pressed to formulate more detailed and comprehensive descriptions of natural phenomena that for experimental verification will also require the development of novel measurement techniques of greater precision, higher detection limit and resolving power as well as wider dynamic range.

Being able to understand more accurately how Nature works is already sufficient reward at least for those directly involved in the painstaking inquiry as well as for most members of the scientific community. Of greater practical significance is the fact that new scientific knowledge brings tangible benefits to society at large – its successful application boosts labor productivity, creates wealth and improves the quality of life. But for the general public to possibly enjoy the fruits of research and development an enabling social environment is needed where there is broad critical support for the scientific enterprise system especially among non-scientists including politicians, legislators, policy-makers, regulators and adjudicators who play a vital role in ensuring fair access and safe utilization of available scientific resources in the country. . . . . read more