In Ravetzâ€™s article â€œWhat Is Science?â€ he provides many images of science. Science as techniques; natural magic; the pursuit of truth; the technocratic conception of science and science as dirty work. These images of science are viewed by many different social, political, academic and religious groups and by reviewing and commenting on these categories in Ravetzâ€™s article, with the support of recent news paper articles, the different images should become clearer.
The images of science as techniques and natural magic according to Ravetz are the two headings that the general publicâ€™s appreciation of science fits under. The image of techniques â€œâ€¦is the collection of devices that make life easier to live, or the destruction of life more efficient.â€ 1 From this view about the image of science as techniques Ravetz is describing how society only really values â€˜scienceâ€™ as a means to enable them to live an easier life.
John Oâ€™neil exemplifies this view in the New York Times article titled â€œAging: Troubles in the Medicine Cabinet.â€ Oâ€™neil speaks about the incredibly high rate of people taking medicines to prevent or overcome an illness. â€œSurveys show that almost half of Americans over sixty five take five or more different medicines a week.â€ 2 There is a common trend in societies these days, to take medicines and other scientific creations eg. Vitamin and mineral supplements to try and prevent possible illnesses and supplement our bodies with the right substances that can be achieved through conscious eating and fitness routines. Which is an example of science is, as Ravetz stated to help make â€œâ€¦life easier to liveâ€¦â€3.
Natural magic is the term given to an image of science that also describes societies general view of what scientists are doing and achieving. Ravetz explains that when an amazing scientific discovery or feat is made and showcased to society, society does not think about the incredible amount of effort and time consuming research, study and work that went into make such a thing possible.