Scientists and philosophers should hang out more
I’ve just started reading The Disunity of Science. It’s pretty dense so far, and I probably won’t get through the all the essays. But this, along with my previous reading in science studies, has helped me realize that there really should be more communication between scientists and philosophers, sociologists, etc. I think that both groups would benefit from more interaction with each other.
I think there are two big reasons why this doesn’t happen. First, academic disciplines tend to stick to themselves. I feel that scientists especially don’t like it when non-scientists speak about science. But even more than that, I think that science is the only major field that really dedicates itself to outreach and communication. It’s pretty inspiring to see that every conference has sections on public education. No one else does this. Even after the recent financial collapse we haven’t seen the economics community make a big push for better financial literacy. I bet many scientists would be receptive to philosophers and sociologists of science if they really tried to show the relevance of their work. I also bet that it won’t happen anytime soon.