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The responsibility of a Scientist

Hi guys! Today, I went to a Chemistry Camp in my school and I want to share an amazing speech given by my teacher, Miss Soh. It is about the "Invisible (and dangerous) Chemistry around us".

Case 1: Poisonous Milk Powder, \(\text{Melamine, }C_3H_6N_6\)

Melamine is a cheaper chemical substance which is supposed for industrial uses. Since Melamine can increase the protein content in their milk powder product, companies added Melamine just to decrease their cost and increase their profit. However, Melamine can destroy babies' urinary system and even caused death.

Case 2: Poisonous Bubbled Milk Tea, \(\text{Plasticizer, }DINP/DEHP/DNOP\)

Adding Plasticizer into jams, bubbled milk tea can make a food more "viscous", and can attract more consumers to buy their products. However, Plasticizer can harm human's Thyroid Gland and Livers. It can also effect children's growth development.

I only share these two cases, there are more terrible cases if you went to search on the internet. I shared these because I think most of you may probably involved in a scientific carrier later or now. Science may make the world a better place, but the two cases above is the dark side of it. These only happen if a scientist use their knowledge in an evil way, either for profits or personal issues. In Biology, some scientist are still keeping the bacteria of smallpox disease which is now become extinct among human beings for experimental uses, if one day they use it in an evil way, like spreading it all over the world, it will again be a crisis to us. In Physics, Albert Einstein's designs for the atomic bomb later used by other people as a war item is also another example.

I'm not saying that you all will become one of them, just sharing my view on a responsible scientist. What do you think?

Note by Christopher Boo
2 years, 7 months ago

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Maybe some of the scientific terms are incorrect, as I translate them from Chinese via Google Translate... Christopher Boo · 2 years, 7 months ago

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Thank you for sharing this.

But, honestly, more "cases" and less "why I did what I did"/"evil, evil, evil" would have made it more interesting. Bernardo Sulzbach · 2 years, 4 months ago

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In both of this cases. The "scientists" you mention and the engineers I will add to the salad may not be responsible for the final product. They can show a bunch of different recipes and the administrators / economists / lawyers play their role to maximize profit.

They are just doing their job. Poorly and miserably (ethically and morally speaking), but are doing it.

The government needs to impose laws that make the usage of "dangerous" substances expensive enough so that they will stop being an alternative in the industry. Bernardo Sulzbach · 2 years, 4 months ago

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There is also the case of thalidomide which was used to cure morning sickness in women in many countries. When it was used to treat the women they would use a racemic mixture which contained another optical isomer. I guess the scientists who developed the drug didn't realize that this optical isomer had adverse effects on the child and those women who took the drug gave birth to children with birth defects because of the other isomer. Cole Coupland · 2 years, 7 months ago

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The atomic bomb did kill many but at the same time it did save many more millions. There were no other choice but this was the only way to end the war. Venture Hi · 2 years, 7 months ago

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@Venture Hi "There were no other choice"

The atom bombs dropped were of high intensity, and dropped in highly crowded civilian areas. Choice 1: Drop bombs of lower intensity Choice 2: Drop in rural areas

Neither of the above choices was exercised. Had this been done before moving to what was used, then you could say, "there was no choice" .

Keep in mind that using the atom bomb in the manner that it was cemented the power of the US in the world order. Star Light · 2 years, 5 months ago

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@Star Light "NO Other choice" was just a excuse actually they wanted to create terror in minds of people and also to take revenge for the pearl harbor incident. Riya Chauahan · 2 years, 5 months ago

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@Venture Hi While your argument is correct on the base that the atomic bomb was the lesser of the 2 evils in terms of lives lost in Japan, one must ask if a utilitarian perspective is the correct framework for this situation. Your argument completely ignores the fact that the people killed were almost exclusively civilians. This is in itself is a war crime that ought never to have occurred. Also, I must respectfully disagree that the use of the atomic bomb led to less lives lost in total since one must factor in all the lives lost due to proxy wars during the cold war era and their lingering effects as the cold war was a direct result of the arms race sparked by fat man and little boy. Faizan Boghani · 2 years, 5 months ago

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