On the responsibility of the scientist

AutorAntónio Manuel Nunes dos Santos
CargoSchool of Sciences and Technology, New University of Lisbon, Portugal, Lisboa, Portugal
Revista de Filosofía Jurídica, Social y Política
Instituto de Filosofía del Derecho Dr. J.M. Delgado Ocando
Universidad del Zulia. ISSN 1315-6268 - Dep. legal pp 199402ZU33
Vol. 17, No. 2, mayo-agosto, 2010: 289 - 297
On the responsibility of the scientist*
António Manuel Nunes dos Santos
School of Sciences and Technology
New University of Lisbon, Portugal
A.S:Dr Nunes dos Santos (1), I know that your background is in Chemi-
cal Engineering and that your doctoral dissertation focused on the behaviour
of chemical reactors. Given your academic training, what has led you to re-
flect so extensively on the role and the responsibility of the scientist in modern
Western society?
A.M.N.S: While still a young man, and belonging as I did to a highly
politicised generation of young people (unfortunately we recognise that
the youth of today are all too often uninterested in questions of economic
disparity and social inequality), I was always concerned not only with the
creation of a more just society but also with the determination of specific
strategies which would allow my generation in general to build a more just
society. Living, as I did, in an era when science was considered to be a vital
force for the development of human society, it was only natural that we im-
puted to the scientist a particularly significant responsibility in the attain-
ment of that ideal society. Then, as now, I believe that the great enemies of
the human species are ignorance, fanaticism, dogmatism, narrow-
mindedness and oppression. Each one of these evils, taken separately or
together, cause and have in the past caused great harm to our fellow hu-
* Entrevista elaborada por el Dr. Alessandro Serpe de la Universidad de los Es-
tudios de Nápoles, Federico II.

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