Science and openess

The historical experience of non-western culture suggests that it is the western systems of knowledge which are blind to alternatives. The ‘scientific’ label assigns a kind of sacredness or social immunity to the western system. By elevating itself above society and other knowledge systems and by simultaneously excluding other knowledge systems from the domain of reliable and systematic knowledge, the dominant system creates its exclusive monopoly. Paradoxically, it is the knowledge systems which are considered most open, that are, in reality, closed to scrutiny and evaluation.

– Vandana Shiva, “Monocultures of the mind: perspectives on biodiversity and biotechnology”, p11-12.

Neither God nor tradition is privileged with the same credibility as scientific rationality in modern cultures… The project that science’s sacredness makes taboo is the examination of science in just the ways that any other institution or set of social practises can be examined.

– Harding, S. 1986, “The science question in feminism”, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, p8. Quoted in the Vandana Shiva book referenced above.

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