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Scientists And Other Researchers Should Focus Their Research On Areas That Are Likely To Benefit The Greatest Number Of People.
Scientists and other researchers should focus their research on areas that are likely to benefit the greatest number of people.
Writea response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
The statement is reasonable to some extent. For people all around the world are threatened by some unresolved problems, thus we should make the best use of limited resources to support the researches on these problems. However, if we follow this suggestion, we thus ignore the long-term significance of those arguably "unimportant or useless" researches, which is detrimental to the long-term development of science. What is worse, the statement is against ethical equality. Thus, I can not fully agree with the speaker.
To begin with, I would like to illustrate the necessity of devoting more researches on areas that are likely to benefit the greatest number of people. As we all know, there are some unresolved serious problems threatening people locally or all around the world. For example, we have no cure to AIDS, most cancers, malaria, and congenital heart disease (CDH). Thus the medical scientists should undertake the responsibility of removing these fatal diseases for people as early as they can. Or many people are suffering from lack of access to clean water and sufficient food, thus the agricultural researchers and researchers in other related fields should focus more on the technologies of cleaning dirty water and increasing the production of crops. Moreover, the government is suggested to assess the research topics and divide them into several classes with different priority of being funded according to the short-term significance. This is quite reasonable, because we have limited financial and other resources, thus researches that could bring welfare to the greatest number of people should get sufficiently funded; otherwise, the researches in these field would be deterred due to the lack of funds.
However, paying more attention to the areas that would influence the greatest number of people does not amount to abandoning the arguably "unimportant" or "useless" researches. In fact, the mere focus on some urgent areas and the ignorance of researches of no clear result are both detrimental, for the following several compelling reasons.
In the first place, there is no need calling for all the scientists and researchers to focus their research on areas that are likely to benefit the greatest number of people. Although it may accelerate the resolve of the hard problems, the solution is of low efficiency for the work of most scientists overlaps each other. Is there any significance for the government funds so many scientists to do the same work?
In the second place, there are long-term merits of those arguably "unimportant" or "useless" researches. For one thing, research itself is unpredictable to a large extent, especially the pioneering ones. Just as the master Albert Einstein once said, "If we knew what it was what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?". Einstein itself devote all his life on the pioneering researches that did not bring immediate welfare to the world, but his theory of Relativity influenced the whole exploration of space and unclear energy exploit several years after it was created. Similarly, the physicist Richard Feynman, who devoted himself to the mathematical modeling of the subatomic particles, is also a good example to illustrate the great influence of a seemingly meaningless research. Although brought nothing to people at that moment and even was teased as trash, turned out to be the foundation of modern physics. And more profoundly, his concepts conceive the next generation computer in the future.
Furthermore, when we follow this statement, we tend to ignore the research on the problems that affect a relative small number of people, and we will implement no research on the problems of animals. However, this is ethically unjustifiable. In fact, the world should research on the diseases that maybe influence no more than 1000 people all around the world. These researches are both academically worthy but morally justifiably.
As the last point, the government should respect the interest and free will of the scientists and researchers. Most researchers, if not all, value the free will and like to research on things they are really interest in. Although the researches are not necessarily related to the problems that threat huge amount of people, the scientists could make discoveries from them in high spirit. It is reasonable that the government should encourage them to choose the research topics that will improve the welfare of most people, but the government should never force them to do that. Otherwise, they will become discontent and feel depressed, and are to likely achieve nothing in those researches.
To sum up, the statement has merits, but considering its low efficiency, and the long term contribution of the arguably "unimportant" researches, and also the probability of going against many scientists' interest when following this instruction, I tend to disagree with it. But the government should encourage, but not force, the scientists to solve the problems that will enhance the welfare of most people, and the scientists have the responsibility to do that.