/me cracks his knuckles ... *grin*
My mother, who is Hindu, told me that in the Hindu religion, there are three ways to worship God. One is by faith. Believe in God, pray and worship him. One is by deed. Live your life doing good to others and you are pleasing God even if you do not pray to him every day. And the third is through knowledge. Try to understand the beautiful world that God has created and you will understand God. This is how I worship God. I consider myself to be agnostic, bordering on atheist. However, I feel that if God does exist, the only way I can ever appreciate him (him/her/them/it) is through science. By using the tools of science to dissect the world, I may someday uncover a true meaning behind everything ... I might not =).
I bring this up because I want to draw the analogy between science and religion. Science is using our senses and our brains to interpret the universe, building a self-consistent body of knowledge. However, for science not to question itself is a ludicrous prospect. I dont think Fondue meant that science should not peer review its progress, I think he meant that we should separate scientific progress from social conscience. Let the scientists do all the discovering and let the rest of the world sort it out and figure out what to do with it. Well ... I disagree. I think that blind science without social conscience is akin to RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM. To believe that the tools of science cannot lead us astray is wrong.
For the Science Center to hold an exhibit that questions the progress of cloning is dead-on appropriate. I think that scientists should have more forums in which to learn the ethical and social implications of their research. Not so much that they can then limit the types of things they study, but more so that they can be aware of how their discoveries may be misused. With that awareness, they can then co-develop safeguards to help keep science safe and moral.
Science is no longer noble aristocrats tinkering in the study or bored monks breeding pea plants. Science is big business, and it must be held accountable just as every other aspect of life is. Scientists have a social responsibility, just like everyone else. I am proud to be one.