Evaluate Principe’s closing remarks about the disconnect between modern science and the wider culture (see the bottom of p. 134). Is his pessimism exaggerated? What is the role of the humanities, if any, in fixing the problem?
I feel that Principe’s pessimism towards the subject of modern science being connected to the wider culture is not exaggerated at all. Today science is so hyper-focused that if one is not affected directly by it or participating in the work they don’t really recognize it’s importance. Not only is it difficult to recognize but it’s difficult to understand when the science is clearly being directed at a small specific audience. Principe argues about how “The natural philosopher and his broad scope of thought, activity, experience, and expertise has been supplanted by the professionalized, specialized, and technical scientist”; to me, this directly correlates to why we need the humanities. Through the study of the humanities, we are able to open ourselves to thinking in a broader sense and trying to step out of our own experiences and thoughts. The connection that is developed in being able to think in a macro sense versus a micro sense is one that would allow for a scientist to take their very specific focused work and apply it the world as a whole in multiple ways. This lack of connection between scientific work and what matters to the population as a whole is really detrimental to the study of science and to our understanding of the world as being interconnected.
In unit 1, I often found myself wondering what is it that makes us put other individuals into boxes and believe that the label on the box is all that person is. However, I’m currently wondering what is it that constricts us, in our modern world, from thinking outside of the boxes of information we have and truly questioning the fundamentals as the early moderns did? Why is that we put the information we are told into boxes and assume that the label is correct?