In the history of modern science, it has always been a critical issue when to accept a scientific proposition as a truth. For a classic example, the famous 17 th century debate as to the question of whether the void really exists was buoyed partly by the power of rhetoric to persuade the involved intellectual audiences. Obviously, the scientific polemic would be eventually resolved when the first crucial experiment to show that the void indeed exists was repeatedly duplicated by other scientists working in different laboratories. Nonetheless, it takes numerous kinds of communication strategy for a polemical scientific troth claim to be held serious enough to further consider high-priced multiple duplications of a crucial experiment. Making a scientific truth claim is rarely done in a political vacuum where truth and only truth, if it were, counts and matters. Whenever an ambitious scientist who has aspired to leading a scientific community to throw itself into solving a set of problems newly defined by himself or herself succeeds in doing so, he or she must have been quite a politician in the first place. Moreover, when modern science developed into big science projects of nation states that compete for national pride and wealth as well as military power, the political talent that had traditionally provided a scientist with an edge in persuading his or her own colleagues extended way over a small scientific community of experts to ordinary citizens who were to pay tax for sumptuous science projects without knowing what they were going to pay for exactly. What we have witnessed in the current affairs of stem-cell research in Korea may be viewed as another historical example to illustrate what political roles communication strategy has played in the history of modern science.

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Scientific truth and communication as political culture
From a perspective of communication studies

Sung-Wook Jung   Freelance writer

In the history of modern science, it has always been a critical issue when to accept a scientific proposition as a truth. For a classic example, the famous 17 th century debate as to the question of whether the void really exists was buoyed partly by the power of rhetoric to persuade the involved intellectual audiences. Obviously, the scientific polemic would be eventually resolved when the first crucial experiment to show that the void indeed exists was repeatedly duplicated by other scientists working in different laboratories. Nonetheless, it takes numerous kinds of communication strategy for a polemical scientific troth claim to be held serious enough to further consider high-priced multiple duplications of a crucial experiment. Making a scientific truth claim is rarely done in a political vacuum where truth and only truth, if it were, counts and matters. Whenever an ambitious scientist who has aspired to leading a scientific community to throw itself into solving a set of problems newly defined by himself or herself succeeds in doing so, he or she must have been quite a politician in the first place. Moreover, when modern science developed into big science projects of nation states that compete for national pride and wealth as well as military power, the political talent that had traditionally provided a scientist with an edge in persuading his or her own colleagues extended way over a small scientific community of experts to ordinary citizens who were to pay tax for sumptuous science projects without knowing what they were going to pay for exactly. What we have witnessed in the current affairs of stem-cell research in Korea may be viewed as another historical example to illustrate what political roles communication strategy has played in the history of modern science.

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