First, previous knowledge of the researcher can affect research in that the inference sometimes can borrow substantially from the opinions. Based on this experience, I believe that previous knowledge can instill value, affect methodology, and generate ideology. With all these available, there is a likelihood that the research could be one sided. The final work then becomes a mere experiment to justify an already existing theory. Mills writes that “the actions of individuals could be predicted with scientific accuracy because we cannot tell foresee the whole of the circumstances in which the individuals will be placed” These quotes confirm the complexity of validity in science.
As demonstrated by Goldsmith, Hyman, and Eugene Rabinowitch, value free means that science is free from the society’s pressure making it is ethically neutral. However, the reality that the activity of research is not value laden is apparent even to nonprofessionals. Value judgments manipulate the picking of problems for investigation, and techniques that are employed (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1968, p 26). The ideal is that values should be avoided because they influence the methods and outcome of research. Numerous arguments accrue from clashes about facts and values. Although differences are significant, facts and values are usually misconceived. Because of the nature of differences research, factual issues, and value issues contributes to outcomes of research. The word "fact" implies to a reality about the world, a statement about some part of objective certainty (Distinguishing Facts from Values, 2012). However, values have some subjectivity. Therefore, values depend on people’s evaluation and analysis of situations making research imperfect.
Like Griffiths, I agree that we are hopeless in the pursuit of perfect research. I see research as a continuing process that evolves overtime. As it develops, it improves qualities of existing theories. While accepting the evolving nature of research, I admit that research work will continue to be influenced by human values, previous knowledge of things, and accessibility of information.
Archie, L., & Archie, J. (n.d.). Introduction to Ethical Studies.
Charles, R., & Amaroso, L. (2011). Constructing Social Research: The Unity and Diversity of Method. . Oakland, CA: Thousand Oaks.
Hyman, G., & Rabinowitch, E. (1968). Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists . New York: Science and Public Affairs.