8 years, 1 month ago

“Science, which is a belief-system”

Link: http://weblog.tetradian.com/2013/01/17/science-which-is-a-belief-system/

A fascinating throw-away line in an article on the BBC website today, ‘Arizona: Naming the dead from the desert‘:

The forensic scientists and I have a lot of faith in science, which is a belief system. It requires trust in officials, in the scientific method, in technology. Many families of missing migrants are coming from communities in Mexico or Central America that have been violated for centuries by officials, scientists and technologies. There is a lot of mistrust.

The context is that, as the intro to the article explains, “It’s the job of a forensics team in Arizona to identify the bodies of migrants found in the desert. Anthropologist Robin Reineke describes how she pieces together the sad jigsaw puzzle of personal attributes and belongings.” The story in itself is more than just interesting, it’s important too: quite a few things that we can learn from there for enterprise-architecture and the like, particularly in terms of the human side of the stories within which we work.

But it was that one throw-away remark – “science, which is a belief system” – that hit me most in terms of its implications, especially in relation to mutual trust. Looking at this from an enterprise-architecture perspective, what are the belief-systems that we each bring in to the story, and in which we ourselves place our professional and personal trust? Yet what aspects of those belief-systems have been experienced by others as failing them in the past, or would seem to threaten to do so in the future? Where do these differences, in belief-systems and worldviews, in themselves create mistrust?

Seems a theme that would be well worth exploring more…