The Pythian oracle at Delphi, back in the 5th century B.C., may have let slip that she had an admiration for Socrates, based on that philosophical young man's admission that he deemed himself the most ignorant of mortals. She may or may not have said in Delphic fashion that young Socrates was the wisest man then living -- probably deemed so because he said he knew that he did not know, you know.
What I think I know often turns out to be error. "Know yourself" was a Delphic maxim. "Don't fool yourself." But self is so easy to fool. It's almost like self wants to be fooled. And Science is hard. There will be Math on the test, as they say. History is full of past scientific pronouncements that are now considered foolish. For example, there was a time when everybody "knew" that purging and bloodletting was the cure for most ailments. Science and scientists have been wrong for so long, edging and sidling toward truth as they do so slowly, that it is a wonder we the peasantry give any time or consideration to men of science. See "self is so easy to fool" as noted above.
For even when selflessly sleuthing along the science trail with best intentions (that is, nothing other than truth) the researcher can end up wildly wrong. But when a less-than-altruistic scientist learns to like the spotlight, and perhaps finds he likes to be the expert in an "experts say" headline (Socrates would say, he turns from philosophy to sophistry), the results can turn from erroneous to evil. For example there was that thing about a Master Race in the last century. (Oh, all right, go ahead and ring the Godwin bell.)
Does best science, informing upright Solons, lead to wise public policy? Or do we mostly have sophists tickling the ears of other sophists? Or worse?
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