Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 4, No. 1


The Dialectic of Science and Advanced Technology: An Alternative?

Hugh Lacey

Abstract: Scientific research is value laden. In particular, the constraints it normally puts upon acceptable theories and the criteria it deploys for selection of significant data both derive from background assumptions whose intelligi­bility is dialectically connected with the adoption of certain social values (in particular that of ‘control’) I explore a conception of development that expresses an integrated vision of social justice and material development. The social values of this conception include those of cooperation, widespread participation, commitment to social/economic/cultural (as well as civil/poli­tical) rights, self—reliance and respect for nature. The implementation of this conception will require that suitable research be conducted and that alter­native research institutions be developed which institutionalize the interplay between science and authentic development’. This paper will articulate the background assumptions and illustrate the forms of research that are made intelligible through dialectical links with these values.