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Teaching Social Justice and Social Responsibility in Science

Morgan Thompson, Ben Morris and Jon Beckwith What is education like in the United States for college and graduate school students pursuing scientific careers?  In many respects, it is a superb education that ensures a future workforce of scientists who can be imaginative, innovative and creative.  Young scientists learn how to be both technically and theoretically critical of their own work and that of others.  These aspects of their education and the massive amount of government funding for science are largely responsible for the major role U.S. scientists have played in scientific advances in the last 50 years or so. However, there are aspects of what prospective researchers learn that prevent them from becoming the whole scientists that society needs.  They learn that science is an objective pursuit, uncontaminated by social influences.  They learn an ivory tower perspective in which the social impacts of their accomplishments are not their concern. …