some scientific causality, but...

Chris Brady cdbrady at
Fri Feb 15 11:24:14 MST 2002

 Raven: Scientists should help change conditions that promote terrorism

 By Tina Hesman  Of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
This story was published in A-section on Friday, February 15, 2002.

 BOSTON - Scientists bear partial responsibility for shaping a world in
which resources are more evenly divided between rich and poor countries
to eliminate conditions that foster terrorism, said Missouri Botanical
Garden director Peter Raven. Raven opened the annual meeting of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science Thursday here.

 The event is expected to draw more than 5,000 participants. Scientists,
students, educators, policymakers and more than 1,200 journalists will
hear presentations from leaders in all areas of research science and
science education and policy, including bioterrism and stem cell

 Raven is ending his term as president of the 140,000-member association
- the largest scientific organization in the world. The group publishes
the journal Science.

 Recent anthrax attacks in Florida, New York and Washington may have
reinforced the public's notion of the mad scientist, Raven said in a
telephone interview Wednesday. But scientists need to take a more active
role in society to counteract that stereotype, he said.

 "If scientists are retiring and secluded in laboratories and don't
participate in the democracy ... people will draw their own conclusions
about what scientists are doing - most of them bad," Raven said

 As scientists and their research become more visible, scientific
literacy in the general public will increase, Raven predicted in his
address Thursday at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Boston. And education
is the key to drawing people together and promoting democracy, he said.

 Only 10 percent of the world's scientists live in developing countries.
But the developing world contains 80 percent of the world's people. That
balance must change, Raven said. Scientists must develop new ways of
looking at human beings' place on the planet, and find methods that will
ensure equitable uses of Earth's resources, he said.

 Raven drew quotes from such ideologically opposite figures as Franklin
Delano Roosevelt and Newt Gingrich to urge scientists to get involved in
their communities.


{me: in a way this reminds me of artist Barbara Kruger's maxim:
"If you were nice in the first place
--there wouldn't be any communists."}

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