Artem M. Feigelman
National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod
What is hidden in the black box: “Disenchantment” of science and the aftermath
Abstract. The paper is a reply to E.V. Maslanov’s article that focuses on today’s features of communication between scientific and non-scientific communities. The author argues that the ever-increasing transparency of the boundaries between scientists and non-scientists, achieved through the evolving modern means of communication, is fruitful for both society and science. This communicative trend is compared with Weber’s “disenchantment”, whose object is not nature, but science itself that is thus desacralized and deprived of an aura of mystery for the uninitiated. The illustration of the history of Theranos affirms the danger of secret scientific knowledge and institutions, especially if the latter claim to change the hu-man world and are linked with large financial investments. The paper emphasizes that the movement towards a non-scientific community is not a danger to the autonomy of science, but rather a key to a responsible and interested relationship between scientists and society. The author questions the danger that, according to E.V. Maslanov, threatens science because of the situation in which the recent scientific knowledge is getting available to a wider public. Using the example of E. Strelkov’s art work “The Third Idea,” the author states that even in science-art projects, which are a trading zone be-tween scientific and non-scientific communities, science appears as an autonomous field that requires a special approach and effort to understand. He concludes about the need for an interested and simultaneously critical dialogue between scientists and non-scientists. Such a dialogue appears the basis for maintaining the autonomy of the scientific community’s life world from power claims coming from the representatives of the “system” including business, government, and church organizations.
Keywords: science communication, trading zone, information and communication technology, disenchantment, science art, Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, Evgeniy Strelkov
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