Science can always teach us how we might do something; it can never determine for us whether that "something" is something we ought to do. That is the realm of the liberal arts education, without which science loses most of its humanity and much of its usefulness.
Specifically, we need religion. This is a most unfortunate point for those who do not deign to draw their morality from Organized Religion and, instead, come to conclusions on their own--somehow. But as C. S. Lewis pointed out in The Abolition of Man, it is impossible to invent a "morality"; even those who reject, say, the Judeo-Christian ethics in regards to such-and-such do so by asserting some other portion of that system of morality.
For example, one could profess that murder, when undertaken for some greater good, is acceptable moral behavior. In fact, the High Priest Caiphas, used this line of thinking when he reasoned that it would be better for one man to die than that the people should perish and thus recommended that Christ be crucified.
Westover's piece, which should probably be read in full, concludes:
Science can teach us the dangers of secondhand smoke; it cannot teach us the value of liberty and freedom. Science can provide pro and con arguments for national immunization; it cannot tell us whether ignoring evidence of harm to some children is better than jeopardizing a program that is doing much good for many children. Science can indicate the world is getting warmer; it cannot value the human consequences of the myriad policy trade-offs doing "something" might entail.
Education that helps us sort through the values that make good trade-offs is as important, if not more so, as the scientific training that provides data to support our decisions. A scientist may convince us the polar ice caps are melting, but it will be a poet who makes us weep for the polar bear.It is rare that one finds such insight in the editorial pages. I may have to become a more regular reader of Mr. Westover.