“Francis Bacon on the Political Dangers of Scientific Progress”

Studer, H. “Francis Bacon on the Political Dangers of Scientific Progress.” Canadian Journal of Political Science (June 1998): 219–34.

Abstract: “Technological progress has brought some political difficulties: we have both too much power and too little control. Francis Bacon, a principal promoter of science and technology, was not naive about the uses to which the conquest of nature would be put; they may not all be good, humane and charitable. He was not uniformly optimistic about the result being “the relief of man’s estate,” even though that is the overwhelming rhetorical thrust of his major writings. Bacon actually rejected many of our currently offered “solutions” for controlling science as being hopelessly impolitic and improvident. This is revealed in a little-known chapter, entitled “Daedalus,” in one of his most comprehensive political works, Of the Wisdom of the Ancients. He provides timely lessons for us to consider now, entering the twenty-first century.”