11/13/2005 - It's nothing new for the scientific enterprise to be shaped by the society that underwrites it. From Galileo to recombinant DNA researchers, from the Manhattan Project to the Human Genome Project, we have a long tradition of scientists responding to ethical or religious guidelines that might be in conflict with their own methods and goals.
The give-and-take keeps the whole enterprise honest. Indeed, the science itself sometimes benefits: When animal rights activists in the 1970s pushed for better experimental conditions for lab animals, for example, the scientific results were more accurate because the animals were less stressed.
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