Liên hiệp các hội và khoa học kỹ thuật Việt Nam
2018-11-19 11:19

Science and Culture

Science and Culture

Today, many philosophical studies of science have shown that science holds a key position in the culture in a wide sense: it is in the nature of scientific that rationalist culture of people is exposed. So the separation of science from the cultural cohesion (broadly meaning) damages both science and culture.

Scientific research activity is known as due to a small group of people in society - the community of science - done. Community of scientists was formed in Western in a historical process for centuries with a system of specific cultural values to ensure the effectiveness of scientific activity. The scientific community has been unable to get any achievements, if purely based on theory and methods alone. During their professional activities, they have formed a system of ethics which were inextricably linked with scientific rationality: nonprofit, truthfulness, organized skepticism (for the critique). The ethical forms of Community of scientists have not only the rationality of wisdom, but always as a paragon of dignity. This is the original meaning of science in the history of Western rationality which derived from Greek philosophy. The term "theory" in Aristotle implies a general orientation to life. Hectic life in modern society sometimes obscures the meaning of the theory as a way of life…

In the modern world, people rely on science to develop, manufacture, manage and destroy, as a result, humans have created a completely different world from the ancient world - the world which human moved in there as a stranger to explore foreign land. This modern has world more and more artificial features and less natural, though not so that it is less fragile; concurrently it had become dependent on science at a level that each new achievements of science can touch our platform. Just mention the emergence and development of the telecommunications network is enough to prove this. This dependency is not only bright side that has both its dark side. The climate change and the environment caused by industrial production is one of several demonstrations. Optimists hope that all issues arising from science, it can also be solved by science. Pessimists worry for a tragic outcome of the development of this adventure. Any way to solve the problem, it cannot simply place an order to restrain science and technology. The world really faced with the dilemma of scientific progress along with its consequences. It's a mistake to assume that these problems can be solved without science. The decline in scientific research is revealing that it can be brought the modern world to lose the ability to react in the right way.

Our country is in the process of integration with the world, it is forced to face not only with the common challenges of the times, but also the backwardness of social awareness about the importance of building national science. We have many misconceptions about science leading to ambiguous actions in developing communities of scientific researchers. The consequence is that we have too many phenomena like no other that public opinion is quite bewildered.

The root was caused by several hundred years due to exposure to Western culture; our sage did not study and learn in earnest to understand the essence of what science is. The scholar of Nguyen Dynasty disparaged Western science and technology as "tricks" because "there are no five basic elements" and then "irrationality compared with the ancient." The period after the revolution, science and technology were honored as the key to open the door of industrialization. However, the society only pays attention to the pragmatic consequences of science embodied in the application of technology. We have sent many students to countries with advanced scientific to train them into a professional scientist, but we did not research the cultural characteristics of the community of scientists to have appropriate regulation for their professional activities. Our tertiary institutions, research institutes and professional associations only have appearance like similar organizations in developed countries, but in substance they are different back then.

The scientists of the developed countries also need to communicate with colleagues in other countries. I think the similarity only in appearance of the phenomenon. The essence is that the scientists in developed countries operate in a professional culture with strict ethical standards that we do not have. On the surface they seem comfortable with each other, but when in the works, it is very serious and reflected the moral qualities that I mentioned above: nonprofit, truthfulness, organized skepticism. They are subjects who voluntarily joined together under a collective career that they are keen to preserve its reputation. The moral qualities were formed during hundreds of years from primitive forms of the medieval guilds to the modern form of universities and research institutions, through long struggle filled difficult to escape the tyrannical influence of the Church and the State. When they talk about the autonomy of the universities or research institutes, it is about the autonomy of collective organization of scientists with such moral qualities. Of course, in reality there are no universities or research institutions with flawless ideal qualities, but we can confirm that due to the quality of the scientists that their tertiary institutions and their research institutes survived until today in the respect of society.

Universities and research institutes together with Western science were introduced into our country and managed by State institutions under the "administrative and professional" model. With that management, managers cannot replace the function in the field of autonomy of scientists. So I think it's time to rethink the way the existing management directions, giving up administration and gradually build the collective autonomy of scientists. Maybe start from the basic science with the field of theory (like mathematics, theoretical physics ...) is best suited for implementation because in this field scientists know each other very well.

Difficulties primarily due to the managers who do not want to give up the right to make rules for their convenience, but the obstacles also are located in the scientists who were familiar with shepherding by the others. If scientists do not feel the need for self-organized into a community which known to preserve professional ethics to protect reputation, if they are not beyond themselves then the others had to manage their manner of inappropriate will be a reasonable work.

Translated by Nga Nguyen

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