2016 Trotter Prize Winner
"All religious theories must submit to the control of science and relinquish all thought of controlling it." - John Tyndall
"Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know." - Bertrand Russell
"The existence of a limit to science is, however, made clear by its inability to answer childlike elementary questions having to do with first and last things – questions such as "How did everything begin?"; "What are we all here for?"; "What is the point of living?"- Peter Medawar
Science rightly has a powerful role in our culture due to its spectacular successes. However, power can sometimes lead to unwarranted hubris and loss of balance. We explore the ways in which some scientists may exhibit fundamentalist attitudes to science - the very attitudes that they deprecate in religious people. Some examples of this are: confusing scientism with science, deprecating other views without examination, placing blind faith in authority, remaining immune to criticism, and using authority in science to pronounce on areas outside one’s competence.