Scientific Progress Brings More Responsibility, Says Physicist

Nobel Prize Laureate Opens Academic Year at Lateran

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ROME, NOV. 13, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The progress of science implies greater responsibility on the part of scientists, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist said when opening the academic year at the Lateran University.



"Science is making giant strides and we are reaching very great power," Carlo Rubbia said Wednesday. "The realm of life is one of the research sectors in which the greatest progress is being made." Consequently, "the exigencies of an ethical character" are ever greater, the physicist told journalists.

Rubbia, professor of high-energy physical particles at the European Center for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, spoke on "Science at the Service of Man," and said that the key lies in "considering man integrally."

For the 1984 Nobel Prize recipient, "research cannot just be done with discoveries or inventions 'a la Frankenstein': Power and responsibility must go hand in hand."

"It is necessary to make a 'pact' between science and man, a pact in which each one of us must has his own limits and assume the responsibility of the consequences of his own action," this member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences said.

Science cannot be limited to "technical aspects and data, but must keep in mind all that the human person is, who is not a machine."

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar for Rome, who also attended the university event, proposed that "scientific research and the development of peoples be combined" so that "every man will be in a position to benefit from the conquests of sciences" and that "the fragmentation of learning" will be overcome.