The Man of Science as an Intellectual: The Public Mission of Scientist
Keywords:man, a man of science, intellectual, public sphere, social elites, social mass
Purpose. The paper is aimed at identifying the ways of scientist’s influence on the development of modern society as compared to those of intellectuals. Theoretical basis. The socio-anthropological approach to the role of scientists in post-industrial society shows the leading role of people of science as a social group in present-day society. However, philosophical axiology reveals that scientists in today’s society do not have the appropriate social status: neither in state governance nor in the sphere of forming public opinion. The classical doctrine concerning intellectuals has suffered a crisis in recent decades, which is due to the growing gap between the group of intellectuals recognized by society and the sphere of science. A new theoretical approach to determining the role of present-day research scientists as intellectuals is necessary. Originality. Successful development of modern society in conditions of growing social turbulence necessitates the access of research scientists to the sphere of public communication. This is required both by the needs of science advancement itself – to receive its adequate funding and win wide public recognition, and by society’s needs – as it is scientists who can provide reliable diagnostics of social problems and formulate well-grounded programs for overcoming them. Conclusions. For overcoming social barriers and getting access to public space, scientists themselves have to recognize themselves as a destitute social group – those who are unfairly deprived of making principal decisions in today’s society. For that, scientists should become modern intellectuals. Unlike media intellectuals, scientists are to interact not with social masses but, first and foremost, with public elites. The scientist has to gain his/her independent status by achieving the recognition of his/her own ideas among social elites rather than by winning wide personal popularity. Hence, scientists must aim at obtaining the status of the elite for elites – this would reveal in scientists the deepest potential of a modern man.
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