In a discourse between bioethicists Arthur Caplan and Robert P. George, they expound upon the false duality of “normativity” versus “scientism”. This exchange is quoted in Public Discourse under the title “Stem Cells: The Scientists Knew They Were Lying?” by Sherif Girgis, which can be found at this link and further discussed in Bioedge found here.
Wikipedia states “scientism is the idea that natural science is the most authoritative worldview or aspect of human education, and that it is superior to all other interpretations of life.” The distinct impression one obtains from this discourse is that “scientism”, generally used as a pejorative term, is a widespread belief among scientists. In fact, scientism is a term used primarily by philosophers of science to criticize scientists.
Caplan, a generally liberal bioethicist from the University of Pennsylvania, and George, a conservative bioethicist from Princeton University rarely agree. But they seem to find common ground in agreeing that scientists, relying on scientism, are limited in making ethical determinations. They therefore need normativity imposed on them presumably by bioethicists (I admit I draw some of these conclusions which are implied rather than stated explicitly). They single out equally renowned bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel, who Caplan identifies as an “an exemplar of scientism”.