Bronowski once wrote: 'It is often said that science has
destroyed our values and put nothing in its place. What has really
happened of course is that science has shown in harsh relief the
division between our values and our world.' He believed profoundly
that science can create the values we lack by looking into the
human personality, exploring what makes humans unique and their
societies human rather than animal packs.
Science and Human Values is a continuation of Bronowski's quest
to make science part of our world and to hold that world to the
rational and ethical values of the liberated human spirit.
Few works on the meaning of science open more dramatically.
Bronowski describes how he arrived in Nagasaki in the autumn of
1945, and saw what looked like broken rocks 'the ruins of
industrial buildings' and 'otherwise nothing but cockeyed telegraph
poles and loops of wire in a bare waste of ashes'. Never before, he
writes, was he so aware of the power of science for good and for
evil. In Nagasaki civilization came face to face with its own
We must not hive science off to a separate zone that we despise
and fear: modern societies must make informed decisions about what
science does, and insist that all the work a civilization does
should respect what Bronowski calls 'the sense of human dignity'.
Science has humanized our values, and its values of freedom,
justice and respect are not yet accepted in the conduct of states
and individuals. The ends for which we work must be judged by the
means we use to achieve them.
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