Perspective

Frank Ruffino
3 min readSep 8, 2020

The various articles were definitely all unique from each other, with most revolving around different topics. Nevertheless, some of the messages rooted within the writings were very similar, which I believe emphasizes the prominence of them. One of these being on perspective, and how there isn’t necessarily right and wrong, but often just different viewpoints from all angles. A statement that really resonated with me comes from Dr. Halperns Feminist Standpoint Theory and Science Communication and reads, “There is no view from nowhere…If we fully embrace the understanding that everyone’s views are partial, incomplete, and unique, it must impact how we understand everything…”. This particular article specifically discussed how this concept could be used to further science by broadening the perspectives from which it is performed. Not to demote the significance of this, but this statement can be applied to all areas of life, and would surely improve the way in which we live as a result. Anything from personal, cultural, scientific, and even national feuds can be settled and avoided by simply acknowledging and understanding different perspectives exist. Applying this to my own life, whenever I get upset with those close to me I find that I am not considering their perspective enough. Focusing on why I am right, rather than where our differences are coming from, promotes arguing and no type of resolution. This idea is applicable to the concept that society believes “…there is one right way to do things and once people are introduced to the right way, they will see the light and adopt it” as stated in Okun’s white supremacy culture. The quote immediately made me think of the issues with the two party system in America, especially today. Two parties creates division, and the urge to pick a side and defend why it is right, and why the other is wrong. Such a system has essentially no hope for ever coming to any agreements or finding middle ground, which I feel really summarizes society as a whole. Overall, the quote was included to express just that; how today’s society thinks, and the implications that has. Suggesting society does not understand the idea of perspective and as a result racial inequalities, along with many others, are overly prominent. Whether intentional or implicit bias at this point, the trend has existed for so long that science is dominated by white individuals, and thus one viewpoint of the “correct” scientific practices and beliefs exists. This type of topic was discussed in Silence Is Never Neutral; Neither is Science. Some current issues, like COVID-19 and climate change are discussed, demonstrating who is impacted as well as the scientists working towards solving the issues. Ultimately, “The people most affected and most familiar with the underlying issues are not driving the research agenda”, which will not help to improve society and our worlds biggest issues. Being a white male, I fall right into this category, and prior to reviewing this piece of writing, never really considered this. I was aware of the underrepresentation of many ethnic groups in STEM jobs, however, never took it a step further and realized how the domination of a field could corrupt the science in which it produces. Overall, regardless of the situation, perspectives are almost endless and all equally important. I, as well as many of the authors seem to, believe that understanding this is crucial for the further development of society. This seemed to be something of focus at the Art As A Way Of Knowing conference, an event where artists and scientists teamed up to discuss a variety of things. Though this meeting could be a culprit of the aforementioned white dominated fields, it seems the discussions were productive and aimed to further spread knowledge and access to it. Through multiple very different sources, I not only gathered lots of information, but also a deeper understanding of some of societies issues, all of which stemming from perspective. Thus, it is safe to say these sources changed my perspective on perspectives

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