Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Response 2 - IAA - Engaging Ambivalence - Arunan

The article points out how research is conducted in academia and is pushed in a particular direction by agencies like the DARPA. It also discusses how acadmeic engineering research is ambivalent and acts like a blanket for defence technological innovation and also for the use in aesthetics, art and architecture. I am just wondering about the morality involved in such a situation where the engineer does not know where his research is going to be applied and the end product is going to be. Is it going to be used for destructive purposes? Or is it going to be used for peaceful applications? He has no idea. He just has a proposal to write for an apparently interesting research grant and is then awarded funding to make that. The moral dilemma of having to earn a living doing research and thinking about the implications of the application of the end-product will be a point to ponder about in engineering research. On the other hand, using such technology creatively in the art scene is a totally different matter since the end result is much different from being used for war and military purpose.

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