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Science, science-based technology and human values


S.N. Arseculeratne

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S.N.
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya
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This essay addresses the central theme that moral philosophy, now termed ethics, was divorced from natural philosophy, now termed science, as long as three hundred years ago, when modern science began its spectacular growth. This dichotomy has given rise to accusations that science functions without ethical concerns. The disastrous or sometimes ill-advised uses of technology derived from science, that are sometimes tragic, are the result of ignorance, scientific illiteracy or deliberate insensitivity and lack of ethical sense of persons involved in governance and application of science-based technologies, and not necessarily and primarily the fault of the scientist him/her-self. The divide between the sciences and the arts and humanities, considered in the idea of The Two-Cultures, together with scientific illiteracy in the main, contributes to this situation. The reconciliation of these two components of the divide, through a sound education, is argued to be of crucial importance and urgency.

Keywords: Education, human values, science, science-based technology, scientific illiteracy, The Two-Cultures

doi :10.4038/jnsfsr.v37i2.1063

J.Natn.Sci.Foundation Sri Lanka 2009 37 (2):83-92

How to Cite: Arseculeratne, S.N., 2009. Science, science-based technology and human values. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 37(2), pp.83–92. DOI:
Published on 30 Jun 2009.
Peer Reviewed


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