EDITORIAL

The Values of Science

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Science  03 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6034, pp. 1127
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208806

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Summary

In Egypt and Tunisia, ordinary citizens have toppled autocrats; elsewhere in the Arab World, they still battle dictators, armed with little more than their belief in freedom, human rights, and democracy. What sort of society comes after the revolution? Many fear that the idealism of the revolutionary democrats will only pave the way for theological autocrats who preach an intolerant doctrine. But fighting extremism is best done not by censorship or autocracy but by embracing pluralism and defeating ideas with ideas. And here, science has much to say, particularly about the values that are needed for societies to be truly open and democratic, because these are the values of science.