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Towards Conscientific Research and Development

Responsibility and care dimension
Integrative dimension
Contrasting epistemologies dimension
Science of consciousness dimension
Embodied-mind dimension
Contemplative science dimension
Concupiscience dimension
Conversation dimension
Conscience-less science dimension

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The principal handmaiden of the devastation of the planet over the past century has been science and the technologies it has enabled. Immense resources have been devoted to scientific research and development in ways that continue to exacerbate this devastation --despite the minute proportion that may help to alleviate it. Science has effectively done most to undermine sustainable development -- whatever the claims for its role in remedial responses.

The action of science has been essentially irresponsible, primarily because responsibility is not a phenomenon susceptible to scientific definition or consideration. Movements for the social responsibility of science are necessarily social rather than scientific. They are evoked and sustained by people of 'conscience' -- again a phenomenon beyond the scope of science. Scientists, as scientists, are completely unqualified (according to their own scientific criteria) to comment on matters of conscience.

It is strange that science should have become institutionalized and professionalized, with qualifications and career paths, and very large budgets (notably for mega projects in fundamental physics or astronautics). It has become a social phenomenon with scientists as a significant and reputable sector of the population. Why is it ridiculous to even imagine suitably funded 'conscientific research' by duly qualified 'conscientists'?

It is curious that 'science' should be embedded in 'conscience'. This suggests several possibilities:

  • that science, through its 'objectivity' and its historical struggle against religion, has successfully marginalized conscience as 'subjective' -- effectively as contra-science, or even anti-science
  • that any consideration of conscience is a form of scientific quackery -- science by 'con artists' (or even science à la con)
  • that science is a specialized branch of conscience, even though the latter cannot be recognized by the former

The psychology of sustainable development points to the need for some form of 'applied conscience' based on suitable 'conscientific research and development'. This might encompass the following 9 complementary dimensions or 'flavours'. Each is given with an indication of the strategic failure to which its neglect has given rise.

Each is given with an indication of the strategic failure to which its neglect has given rise.

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