On the Drama of Becoming and Being a Acientist
Chemists, physicists, and biologists are commonly criticized, from within the discipline of psychology, for being reductionistic—for attempting to explain the complexities of human life by descriptions at the level of molecules, atoms, or cells. Despite this critical tradition, I wish to enter the claim that nothing is intrinsically wrong with reductionist accounts of such psychological phenomena as learning, memory, perception, and mental disorders—so long as such accounts are presented as provisional and not absolute. I offer this license in order to indulge my own license. For I wish engage in another form of reduction—that of reducing science to drama—or at least, looking at science through the lens of drama. But my dramaturgical account of science is simply the development of a point of view. The advantage of developing this point of view is that it might illuminate the life and work of individual scientists in a way that will help advance our understanding of larger ethical and moral issues surrounding the conduct of science. Participants are invited to look at science as drama and at scientists as actors in the dramas of their everyday scientific lives. As a start, a summary of the results of interviews with a dozen practicing scientists will be presented.
Keywords: Drama, Role Theory, Scientific Conduct
Prof. Karl E. Scheibe
Professor, Deaprtment of Psychology