Evaluation Of "and The Band Played On" Essay

604 WordsMar 23, 20113 Pages
The “actual practice” of science and scientific knowledge production in the discovery of the AIDS virus generally followed the scientific method as the approach to the research relied on observations and data collection or “empiricism” and hypothesis testing for falsification so that the scientist can conclude logically whether his hypothesis is correct or incorrect. The usual behaviors and attitudes of scientists are depicted in the film in that they are inquisitive and ask a lot of questions on infected persons to gather data; they ask themselves “What do we know, what do we don’t know about the disease?”; they do investigative work like finding out whom the victims had sexual relations with to prove their first theory that the disease is sexually transmitted. They examine statistics on the number of AIDS cases and deaths, who are affected, their gender, how they got the disease, etc. It was also shown in the film that the scientists do a lot of testing and experiments to identify the virus causing AIDS and it takes an awful lot of time and resources to conduct these experiments. CDC scientists tried to look for associations with other known diseases like feline leukemia and hepatitis B and then through deduction established the new disease’s similarities and differences with them. This strategy provided leads to them on what might be causing the disease. One new thing I learned is that it is a matter of “courtesy” to share your research with some other laboratories (and these laboratories may not even be in your country) also involved in the noble desire to identify the virus in order to fight the disease. In this case, Dr. Francis of the CDC even sent a sample of the virus to the French laboratory which angered Dr. Gallo. The human side of the scientists is also portrayed in the film. For one, the head of the CDC was more concerned about protecting the

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