I’m very keen on spending some of my spare time reading books and texts of the ages – The Great Gatsby, The History of Ancient Rome, Moby Dick etc.
I came across Richard Feynman’s Value of Science 1955 paper today – after his involvement in the Manhattan Project, Feynman went on a personal journey to question the fate of humanity and the evil that could be created by scientific knowledge.
His three main points are:
- Scientific knowledge is power that allows us to do and make things that can be good (i.e. medicine, computer…) or bad (i.e. nuclear bomb).
- Feynman argues that science also has entertainment and inspirational value due to the intellectual enjoyment which people derive from it.
- Feynman argues that one of the most important values and responsibilities of science is to protect the freedom to doubt that has lead to great progress in society.
You can read the full paper here – but these aspirational takeaways made me appreciate the way Feynman thought about science and it’s potential to do good, while considering the possibility to veer on the dark side.