- I felt a bit provoked by the very last comment in Wolfgang Eppenschwandtner's presentation, namely what he said about how, for the common good of attracting as much funding to science as possible, we ought to show solidarity with other sciences and refrain from saying things like "sociology is not real science" or "too much of the science budget is directed to the engineering sciences". Will you allow me, Dr Eppenschwandtner, to be a little bit provocative in return?
Your talk of solidarity envokes the image of science as a special interest, with the overall goal of attracting as much funding as possible. But this cannot be the ultimate goal. Science (especially tax-funded science) exsits for the benefit of society-at-large and of mankind, whence loyalty towards society and mankind must trump solidarity with the scientific community. If (hypothetically) I find that sociology has been invaded by researchers with a view of ontology and epistemology that effectively prevents them from doing real science, or if (again hypothetically) I find that microbiologists are conducting research that is putting humanity at risk, then I must speak out.2 If I refrain from doing so (out of solidarity or for whatever reason) then I am failing in my duty towards the general public, and in my role as a scientist, an intellectual and a citizen. So thank you, Dr Eppenschwandtner, for your advice, but don't count on my unreserved solidarity!