ESEP 17:51-62 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00177

The maladies of enlightenment science

Tim Wyatt*

Barrio A Tomada, Borreiros, Gondomar, 36378 Pontevedra, Spain
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Some of the amalgam of activities which comprise traditional science (‘real’ science) has fragmented into new modes under pressure from internal and external factors. The adoption of the internet and the World Wide Web (which have created cyberscience and are internal factors) can be equated with the introduction of the microscope and other instruments and procedures, though they have revolutionized the whole of science rather than some of its branches. External factors discussed here include post-modernism, neoliberalism, and McDonaldization. In post-modern science, the traditional model has become burdened by social and political interests, and concerns for practical problems in which scientific expertise can assist decision making; however scientific knowledge in itself is not a priority. Neoliberal guile has parasitized science as it has so much else in search of profit, and has seriously damaged its host. There are also degraded or pathological activities, ‘McScience’, in which the pursuit of knowledge has been corrupted by an excess of bureaucratic control and over-emphasis on personal rankings. The ethos which guides traditional science has been warped by these various outside interests, secrecy is rewarded, and practices once considered dishonest are prospering.


KEY WORDS: Enlightenment · Traditional science · Postmodernism · McDonaldization · Neoliberalism · Cyberscience


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Cite this article as: Wyatt T (2017) The maladies of enlightenment science. Ethics Sci Environ Polit 17:51-62. https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00177

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