Taboos of Science [9:38]


Social taboos are incredibly powerful.  And while sometimes they help, they are often harmful. This video discusses some of the pros and cons, as well as specific cases, of social taboos in science.  Taboos discussed include doctors washing their hands, human cloning, bioengeneering, transgender and intersexuality, archeology vs graverobbing, the ‘poo taboo’, and naturalistic explanations of the supernatural.

Discussion Questions

  • What are some modern science taboos?
  • What are the three kinds of taboos that the video talks about?
  • When are taboos harmful?  When are they helpful, if ever?
  • What are some taboos you think they decided not to talk about because they were too taboo?
  • What can we do to change attitudes about some of these taboos?

Keywords: taboos, scientific method, superstition, ethics, morality, cloning


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