The Runaway Brain
Publication
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 6 Dec 1984, p. 185-203
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The Runaway Brain


Questions posed as if from an anthropologist from China or Russian coming to Canada: What is this country called Canada? How do the people in this country see themselves? What do they perceive as their priorities? How to answer such questions? What an anthropologist might think of us from reading our newspapers and watching our T.V. The speaker's premise that what our preoccupations seem to be, according to our newspapers and television, actually have very little of long-term or broad interest or significance. "The most powerful force shaping our life today … is Science." An exploration and analysis of that view. Why the speaker thinks his claim is true, with discussion and examples following. Ways in which Canada is an underdeveloped country. The role of a scientist in society. Assumptions made about science that are not true. What science does. The nature of science. The strength of science. Science and great scientific leaps of the past. How that happens. Most modern scientific research for destructive purposes. The lack of scientific knowledge in our leaders. The danger of that lack of scientific knowledge in terms of decisions and policies. The need to become better educated with regard to science.