The Ratchet of Science – Curiosity Killed the Cat

Roy Y. Calne (Editor)
Dept. of Medicine and Surgery, National University of Singapore, Cambridge, UK

Series: World Philosophy
BISAC: SCI034000




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Once science is published and archived in a Ratchet manner, there is no delete button.

Science, like the universe, is expanding and accelerating. This book outlines the many gifts that science has bestowed upon our quality of life ranging from health, travel and communication, but it also raises concerns about the sometimes awful consequences of science. These may be accidental and unanticipated, or deliberate, as with the development of new weapons that carry dreadful potential. After the Second World War, a chasm separated the regimes of the East and West, and the possibility that the world was heading towards a catastrophic atomic conflict was a serious worry. Science has a responsibility for its consequences, even if these are not anticipated. In view of the history of science and our current relationship with scientific advances, it would be prudent to attempt a continuing peaceful dialogue to avoid future confrontation.

For the writing of this book, the author made many in-depth studies of correspondence between scientists and philosophers, including, most notably, Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell, at Churchill College Archives in Cambridge.


Gustav Born


Chapter 1 - Pugwash and Bombmaking (pp. 1-10)

Chapter 2 - Historical Background (pp. 11-46)

Chapter 3 - Human Nature (pp. 47-60)

Chapter 4 - Brave New World; 1984 Huxley and Orwell; Surveillance and Control of Individuals by the State (pp. 61-74)

Chapter 5 - Medical Science (pp. 75-92)

Chapter 6 - Disregard of the Sanctity and Value of Life (pp. 93-100)

Chapter 7 - The Sky is the Limit: Rockets and Cosmology (pp. 101-108)

Chapter 8 - The Next Phase (pp. 109-110)



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