The Epitome of Humanity

As a social scientist who has spent the last several years in developing countries learning empathy -- mostly to shut up and to listen carefully to what my counterparts have to say, something I was trained to do but often have failed to do -- I was heartened by Joshua A. Dijksman’s deep bow (Views, International Herald Tribune, April 23) to the “rights and duties to science and society” that serious researchers bear. Like Dr. Dijksman, I too believe that the scientific method – careful observation, objectivity, patience, modesty, replication, and only drawing conclusions based on very reliable data – can be the very “epitome of humanity” that can lift us all above the prejudices, slander, downright lies and rumors and the kind of “disingenuous, small-minded social keelhauling” that serves as public discourse and much of policy these days.

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