Why no 'scientific wisdom'?
Why do people often talk about 'scientific knowledge,' but we virtually never hear of scientific wisdom? Is there something about the content or practices of science that precludes them from counting as wisdom? After all, if ‘wisdom’ means something in the neighborhood of 'deep, important, or fundamental knowledge,' it seems (to me at least) that science should be a paradigm case of wisdom.
Is this merely a linguistic quirk that bears no relation to the relationship between the nature of science and the nature of wisdom? Or does the fact that we rarely—if ever—speak of 'scientific wisdom' reveal something important? Here's a reason for thinking the latter.
Science provides instrumental reasons for action only, not categorical ones: If you want to build a nuclear bomb, then the atomic theory of matter will be an extremely useful tool in designing the weapon. It is no part of physics—or any other of the (paradigmatic?) (natural?) sciences—to say whether you should build a bomb or not. Science does not inform us as to what should be valued for its own sake, and not merely as a means to some further end (though e.g. sociology could inform us what is in fact valued). The information provided by science only helps us acquire those things we already value. This is closely related, if not identical, to the old saw that science tells us about facts, and says nothing about values. Wisdom, in contrast, is thought to involve knowledge of what should be valued for its own sake (as well as how best to achieve those ends). That is, wisdom can offer categorical reasons, whereas science provides instrumental ones only.
The literature on the relationship between science and values is both vast and contentious. However, I do not know of anyone who says that the content of theories in natural science includes claims about what is valuable for its own sake. (I could be oblivious and/or uninformed about this; I'm no expert in this sub-field.) It may be that the scientific ethos includes e.g. valuing truth over personal gain, but that’s not part of the general theory of relativity.
So now we have a reason why no one says 'scientific wisdom'—science is silent on what is valuable for its own sake, whereas wisdom requires this information.