Justice has become increasingly discriminatory and inconsistent. Education has fought evolution and other scientific findings for years and continues to teach by way of an outdated lecture-based model. Even the ability to consume healthy foods has become dependent upon wealth and location of living.
Science’s main goal is to increase our knowledge about life and worldly processes that enable us to advance the way we live.
Science, then, can be broken down into two aspects—(I) how science affects us, and (II) how we affect science.
(I) Let’s start with the former, using cancer as a model. Odds are everyone knows at least one friend or family member affected by cancer. Cancer affects people of all race, ethnicity, sex, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, etc. For example, lung cancer does not care if one is a smoker or non-smoker, rich or poor, white or black, or European or Latino.
Cancer does not select based upon any of the aforementioned characteristics. It is unprejudiced in the manner by which it affects us, as well as other organisms.
(II) Good scientists follow facts, and the facts lead them to discoveries that advance our way of life. Good scientists are unprejudiced in the way they investigate problems. They do not allow their opinions and bias to govern their results.
Likewise, scientists care not what demographic their coworkers and collaborators are. They care only that the person with whom they are working is competent and will provide valuable contributions to their research. Unlike other professions that are driven by fame and money, science is a united coalition driven by curiosity and cooperation.
For example, cancer researchers have a common goal—to more effectively treat, and hopefully cure, cancer. Sure, each respective researcher would love to be the person who discovers the cure or develops novel treatment that effectively suppresses cancer in the body. However, those same researchers would be thrilled to know that someone finally found a cure or a better treatment, and I’m confident that they would feel that they played a role in that discovery, perhaps by ruling out other alternatives or providing fundamental knowledge that led to the cure or treatment.
Science is not wholly without prejudice or discrimination. It is still a male-dominated field that sometimes requires a bureaucratic committee of not necessarily “good scientists” to determine what labs receive funding and, thus, have a greater likelihood to publish new findings.
How can science become even more unprejudiced? I argue we should take Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard P. Feynman’s advice in his book Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman and focus on maintaining scientific integrity.
Specifically, teach science the way science is investigated, require scientists to “give all of the information to help others judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction,” and stop misleading the laymen about the significance and validity of the science being conducted.
Science is certainly unprejudiced towards us. In order to remove our prejudice towards science, we must maintain greater scientific integrity and allow facts to drive our results.
Still, science is the most unprejudiced thing we have.