Scientists and the products of their work are far from neutral.’ Rather than embodying neutrality, scientists are inextricably connected to the existing distribution of interests and power. White, male scientists over the centuries have attempted to use science as a medium for all their findings, which inevitably support their personal beliefs. In my experience, scientists are extremely intelligent, but particularly one-sided. Hearing the words scientist’ and neutral’ in the same sentence disturbs me–after all, scientists have tried to prove’ an unlimited amount of times that blacks are innately less intelligent then whites, and that women are innately weaker and possess less natural ability in math and science than men do .
Ruth Hubbard, in her essay “Science, Facts and Feminism,” explains that, “as scientists, our job is to generate facts that help people understand nature. ” Webster’s dictionary defines the word scientist as one who studies natural science. Scientists seek knowledge from Mother Nature, which David Barash views as sexist, to understand many things including the certain roles genders play in society. Similar to these science critics, I believe trying to figure out and define roles based on our biological make-up is immoral. It causes conflicts and biases that account for the separation between genders.
Hubbard argues that the ideology of woman’s nature that is invoked at these times would have us believe that a woman’s capacity to become pregnant leaves her always physically disabled in comparison with men. This ideology, supported by male scientists, has affected the roles of women in society and the workplace. It hinders women’s access to employment and influences some to believe that their place in society is at home (based on nature). Other scientists have also tried to prove that women’s disproportionate contributions to childcare and homecare are biologically programmed because women have a greater biological investment’ in children then men do. My view on this assumption is that the cause of the disproportionate contributions is psychologically, rather than biologically, determined. Fathers might be more sensitive to their children than mothers, and vice versa, proving that scientists’ point about biological investment’ is not only obscure, but also invalid. I find no neutrality in that argument, nor in most of their cases.
Scientists could be more neutral if they actually tried to provide conclusive evidence for some of their findings. Keller stated, “The net result is that scientists are probably less reflective of the tacit assumption’ that guide their reasoning than any other intellectuals of the modern age. ” Scientists will arrogantly argue a point without evidence, showing that their point was quite possibly preconceived and thus hardly gender-neutral in today’s sexist society. For instance, in the early 1900’s, scientists proclaimed that men could fly if they flapped their arms in the same fashion birds did. When the public tested this theory, they proved that scientists were wrong . Also, in the 1980 scientists asserted that only homosexuals could contract AIDS, a theory that was disproved in 1983.
Scientists are blinded by their own confidence and beliefs. In their world, everything is absolute, with no eyes monitoring society. They think that scientific language, because it is neutral, is absolute. This view helps secure borders that prevent criticism of what is believed to be objective’ science. Language, assumed to be transparent, becomes impervious. For instance, Emily Martin’s “The Egg and the Sperm” explains the gender stereotypes hidden within the scientific language of biology. The depiction of menstruation as a failure, and the femininity of the egg, while the process of making sperm is viewed as remarkable. The egg is passive and depends on the masculine sperm for rescue. This example shows biased scientific language, which is used by scientists to define gender roles in society.
Scientists not only show their biases in their language, but also their products. They define nature and the rules in society to please their well-being and beliefs. Until they become less prejudiced, humanity will continue to view them as bias individuals.