What is the role of scientists in society?

Science is improving the world with new discoveries, but should we consider their sociopolitical implications?

I will attempt to answer that using anime. Before you cringe about how someone could compare storyline in a 2D world to our very real 3D world, the series I’m covering has not just advice relating to Imperial but on how as scientifically-minded jobseekers, the way we view the world is important.


All is One

In Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (FMAB), alchemy is considered a field of science. The plot is set in a pre-WWII context and follows two brothers. During their training to become alchemists, they were chucked to a desolate island to find the meaning behind alchemy. They eventually came to the conclusion that the universe is a Circle of Life much like in The Lion King. Everything is interconnected, from the people you meet to the rise of interdisciplinary subjects like fintech and bioinformatics. Everything affects one thing to another to another.

Without spoiling too much, the beauty of FMAB is that it challenges us to question how science affects the world, ie, whether we have a moral responsibility behind what we’re doing. In the series we see scientists serving the government. Whilst governments and institutions are essential for advancing science, how much of what we study is truly controlled by us? And if we have free will to study whatever we can, do we have to consider the will of others around us such as our animal models or human volunteers?


Come to Imperial if you like science right now, even if you don’t see it as your career

Not all of us are aspiring to pursue science for our jobs, and that is absolutely okay. If you have a passion for science at this stage then Imperial is for you. Many Imperial graduates leave science for fields such as consultancy and investment banking. That’s not because they want to go big for the money, rather, other fields need people with scientific minds to make their professional fields better with skillsets like data analysis and a specific way of critical thinking.

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