Mad about the Buoy: Trust and Method in the Brent Spar Controversy
Philosophers assure us that the aim of scientific investigation is to arrive at an impartial and objective understanding of the nature of the world. Of course, all manner of practical and intellectual obstacles can get in the way of this aim; such obstacles may even get in the way more often than not. But the contemporary conception of science is inseparable from the idea that it sets out to describe how the world is. Disciplined observation of the way things are in nature is obviously a key element in the pursuit of scientific understanding. Of course, science is not only about observation and experiment; it is also about theoretical analysis and conjecture for example. But it could hardly thrive without observation.
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