Two quotes, three questions
Question 1: In the first quote, what is the missing word?
Above all, we —————- have a responsibility to the future of our craft. Science, as I shall later argue, is based on an ethic, and that ethic requires good faith on the part of its practitioners. It also requires that each scientist be the judge of what he or she believes, so that every unproved idea is met with a healthy dose of scepticism and criticism until it is proved. This, in turn, requires that a diversity of approaches to unsolved problems be supported and welcomed into the community of science. We do research because even the smartest among us doesn’t know the answer. Often it lies in a direction other than the one pursued by the mainstream. In those cases, and even when the mainstream guesses right, the progress of science depends on healthy support for scientists who hold divergent views.
Science requires a delicate balance between conformity and variety. Because it is so easy to fool ourselves, because the answers are unknown, experts, no matter how well trained or smart, will disagree about which approach is most likely to yield fruit. Therefore, if science is to move forward, the scientific community must support a variety of approaches to any one problem.
Question 2: Who is the author of the second quote?
I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today – and even professional scientists – seem to me like someone who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historical and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. The independence created by philosophical insight is – in my opinion – the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth.
Question 3: Are these quotes relevant today to economists and economics?