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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN SOCIETY 9 CHAPTER 2 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN SOCIETY About 200 years ago the pace of technological change in western society began to quicken. Wind, water, and animal power, with their limitations of place and capacity, were supplemented and then replaced by the steam engine, which went on to power the factories of the industrial revolution. The railroad made it possible to move things and people quickly over great distances. The telegraph and, later, the telephone carried communications across the countryside. Electric lighting supplanted the dim glow of candles, kerosene, and gas lights. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the notion of progress was closely linked with technological development, and that linkage intensified in the following decades. The automobile and the airplane changed not only travel but the nature of our cities and towns. Radio and then television brought more of the outside world into everyoneâs homes. Knowledge about the causes of diseases brought new treatments and preventive measures. Computers appeared, and soon the transistor made them smaller, more powerful, more accessible, and cheaper. Today, the system by which research and development leads to new products is fundamentally different than it was in the nineteenth century. To the role of the individual inventor has been added the power of organized scientific research and technological innovation. Organized research and development, which are increasingly international in character, have greatly increased the production of new knowledge. Deeper understanding of living organisms is leading toward cures of diseases once thought
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN SOCIETY 10 untreatable. Basic insights in materials science enable the development of structures that are lighter, stronger, and more durable than anything available before. The computer and novel modes of communication, such as optical fibers, bring new, interactive modes of work and more capable machinery. These new devices and new ways of working, in turn, speed the growth and dissemination of new knowledge. The accumulation of scientific knowledge and new technologies has transformed human life. echnologies have helped provide manyâthough far from allâpeople with standards of warmth, cleanliness, nutrition, medical care, transportation, and entertainment far beyond those of even the wealthy two centuries ago.1 They have also presented us with difficult questions about how to use science and technology most effectively to meet human needs. The rapid rate of material progress can continue, but it is not inevitable. The extent to which the products of science and technology are useful depends on the needs of society. Each of the four areas discussed in this chapterâindustrial performance, health care, national security, and environmental protectionâuses these products in different ways. Progress is more likely if we understand these differences. Only then can we effectively translate scientific and technical understanding into the techniques, tools, and insights that improve the quality of our lives. THE ROLE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN INDUSTRY Industries differ in the manner and extent to which they use the results of research. Some, such as the semiconductor industry, the biotechnology industry, and parts of the chemical industry, were created and shaped almost entirely by ideas that grew out of science. The technologies at the heart of these industries were initially characterized more by promise than by real products. Semiconductors were in this stage right after the invention of the transistor; more recently, biotechnology went through
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN SOCIETY 11 this stage after the development of recombinant DNA techniques. High-temperature superconductivity is a scientific discovery that shows promise of leading to new industries and is in this stage today. As science-based industries continue to develop, they remain closely dependent on continuous inputs of new science, often produced by university researchers. These industries depend as well on the technological development of these ideas in order to grow and to widen their range of products. At an early stage, these industries tend to be small, to move at a fast technical and competitive pace, and to have enormous potential. Biotechnology is now in this stage. In a more mature stage, a science-based industry may still be growing quickly, but it depends ess on the progress of academic scientists. The semiconductor industry, for example, moves at a fast technical pace and requires increasingly detailed knowledge of its materials and, as the individual transistors buried in its chips become ever smaller, even of new quantum phenomena. But its scientific needs are met almost entirely by the work of semiconductor scientists and engineers working in the plants and laboratories of the semiconductor companies. Indeed, industry scientists are often the only ones with the detailed knowledge needed to make incremental improvements in the technologies. Another example of an industry at a mature stage is the aircraft industry, where thousands of scientists and engineers are required to deal with the enormous complexities of new plane design. Investments in manufacturing tools and plants are often measured in hundreds of millions of dollars. Only major companies can act on this scale, and only they have the technological knowledge and experience needed to design these complex products. The most mature industriesâfor example, the automobile or construction industriesâmove at a slower technological pace and require fewer inputs from current science, whether generated by their own laboratories or by university research. Many of these
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN SOCIETY 12 were not based on science even at their birth. They do, however, require the highest levels of technological and production know-how. For industries that rely on high technology but are technically self-contained (such as the semiconductor industry) and industries that do not depend heavily on current science (such as the automobile industry), the results of current fundamental research are generally not decisive. Japan, which has not been a leading research power, has exhibited great strength in such industries. In these areas, productivity gains and product leadership can be attained by a number of strategies largely separate from scientific research but highly dependent on engineering, such as developing new technology in corporate laboratories, improving the development cycle to hasten the marketing of improved products, better coordination of design and manufacture, maximizing the creative capabilities of employees, and responding quickly to changes in consumer preferences. Additional university research can help, but it will be of peripheral importance to such industries. Nor can research rescue a failing industry that has difficulties in other areas. THE ROLE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MEETING OTHER NATIONAL OBJECTIVES In addition to their influence on industrial performance, science and technology are directly involved in efforts to achieve a number of other important national goals. As in the case of industry, many other factors must also be in place for the goals to be achieved, but science and technology provide many of the crucial insights and techniques that enable progress. The following sections briefly describe some of the linkages between science and technology and several of these goals. Health Care Maintenance of health and prevention of illness are among the highest goals of our society. cience and technology have
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN SOCIETY 13 become critical factors in achieving those goals, and the health sciencesâincluding the life sciences, health services research, and public health researchâwill remain vital elements in the promotion of the nationâs well- being. In health care, as in other areas, science and technology are embedded in much broader social and institutional structures. For example, a research discovery can lead to experimental products in a very short time. Yet those products may require very long lead times to bring to market because of the need to ensure their safety and efficacy. The most visible public policy issue in health care today is cost.2 Many of the medical products generated by research and development, such as vaccines, actually reduce total health care costs. Other new products derived from research and development, such as complex imaging devices and expensive surgical procedures, raise costs in the short term while enhancing overall care. Still other procedures reduce unit treatment costs, but these reductions make treatments more available and thus increase demand and total costs. The development and pricing of health care products are unusual for a number of reasons. In a normal market economy, differences in the costs of technologies are reflected in the level of use. But our current system of health care reimbursement insulates patients from the true costs. In addition, the government directly regulates many aspects of medical technology to ensure safety and control costs, further distorting market signals. Finally, health care involves such basic human conditions as birth, disease, and ultimately death. Under such conditions, individual consumers often ignore economic considerations; yet the total cost of health care is a matter of enormous national concern. The effects of technical progress on costs depend to a large extent on the social and institutional structures surrounding the health care system. As the nation undertakes a broad reassessment of its health care system, a central challenge is to create administra
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN SOCIETY 14 tive structures that promote the development of medical technology while improving care and containing costs. National Security Since World War II, the United States has sought military advantage through technological rather than numerical superiority. For example, technological superiority in the hands of a well-trained military contributed greatly to the success of the Persian Gulf War. The United States will continue to rely on this strategy to retain military advantage, but the sources of new military technology are shifting.3 In the past, the segment of industry that has supplied both hardware and software to the U.S. military has been largely separate from civilian industry. This segment of industry has had essentially one customer, and its requirements were focused on product performance more strongly than on cost. In the 1950s and 1960s, the defense industry produced much technology of value to civilian industry. But today the technological sophistication of civilian industry in many cases surpasses that of the defense industry. As a result, the military has become more dependent on civilian technologies. This trend will make improvements in national security more dependent on overall national economic performance. A major challenge facing the military today is to maintain technological superiority in the face of declining defense budgets. Meeting this challenge will require a reexamination of the broad scientific and technological base that contributes to military needs, including research and development in government laboratories, in industry, and in universities. Environmental Protection Over the past two decades, the United States has recognized and has made substantial progress in curbing the degradation of the environment. Nevertheless, difficult problems remain.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN SOCIETY 15 Environmental degradation continues to accompany many aspects of economic growth. Emissions and effluents of contaminated materials continue, waste disposal plagues urban areas, forests continue to be devastated, and biodiversity losses are growing. At the same time, science and technology have exposed new issues of great complexity and uncertain consequences, such as global warming, acid precipitation, the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer, and the contamination of water supplies. By the middle of the twenty-first century, the human population is projected to double to around 11 billion people, and, to meet their basic needs, the global economy will need to be several times larger than it is now.4 Many industrial and agricultural practices and products used today in energy and food production, transportation, and manufacturing will need to be restructured to prevent pollution if sustainable economic growth is to be achieved. In some situations, existing technologies can be made cleaner and more efficient; in others, entirely new technologies, including energy technologies, will be needed. Almost all fields of science and technology can contribute to the reduction of environmental degradation. Biotechnology, materials science and engineering, and information technologies can enable the efficient use of raw materials and prevent pollution at the source. Reducing and preventing pollution is an important goal of the new field of industrial ecology, which, by examining industrial processes, strives to maintain sustainable technological growth.5 COMMON THEMES These examples demonstrate that science and technology are powerful determinants of the conditions of modern life but that they clearly are not the only determinants. Nevertheless, even if science and technology are not sufficient by themselves to resolve societal issues, they are necessary for progress. Industry, for example, now relies heavily on technology to raise productivity;
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN SOCIETY 16 economic studies show that more than half the per capita productivity increases in the United States since World War II have come from technological advances. Although such factors as better skills among workers and new methods of organizing production will continue to contribute to economic expansion, new technologies will continue to be the major force behind the generation of new wealth. Similarly, many new technologies are increasingly reliant on scienceâwhether the new science emerging from research laboratories or the well-established science available to everyone with the necessary training. Engineering, increasingly science-based, could not have achieved its present level of sophistication without its base of scientific knowledge. This increasing integration of science and technology also applies in reverse: technological problems now inspire important areas of science, even as science broadens the scope and capabilities of technology. Given the fact that science and technology are necessary, but not sufficient, elements of human progress, we as a nation face important questions: How great an investment in science and technology should we make to meet national needs? How can we best measure national performance in science and technology? The committee turns to these questions next. REFERENCES 1. William J. Baumol, Sue Anne Batey Blackman, and Edward N. Wolff. Productivity and American Leadership: The Long View. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989. 2. Annetine C. Gelijns and Ethan A. Halm, Eds. The Changing Economics of Medical Technology. Washington, D.C.:National Academy Press, 1991. 3. Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, Task Force on National Security. NewThinking and American Defense Technology. New York: Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, 1990. 4. George Heaton, Robert Repetto, and Rodney Sobin. TransformingTechnology: An Agenda for Environmentally Sustainable Growth in the 21st Century. Washington, D.C.: World Resources Institute, 1991. 5. âPapers from the NAS Colloquium on Industrial Ecology,â Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 89, No. 3 (February 1, 1992), pp. 793â1148.
Science is a systematic way which involves observation and experimentation in order to get knowledge and improve skill; whereas, technology is the practical application of science which helps in improving the quality of life.
Essay on Science and Technology
New inventions in the field of science and technology play great role in the daily lives of people and making their life style advance. In order to keep students up-do-date and check their general knowledge about new inventions, they are given this topic to write essay on science and technology. Here we have provided some simple science and technology essay to help students to do better in their essay writing competition.
Science and Technology Essay 1 (100 words)
Advancement in the science and technology in many areas has made the lives of people more advance than the ancient time. Advancement in the science and technology is directly and positively affecting the people’s way of living on one hand however it is also affecting indirectly and negatively on the people’s health on the other hand. New inventions in the field of science and technology are very necessary in such a modern world for a country to be strong and well developed country than other countries. In this competitive world, we need more technology to go ahead and become a successful person in the life.
Science and Technology Essay 2 (150 words)
Development, whether it is human development or country development, is linked to the proper growth and development of the technology in many ways. Technological advancement happens when there become new inventions in the science by highly skilled and professional scientists. We can say that technology, science and development are equally proportional to each other. Development in the science and technology is very necessary for the people of any nation to go hand in hand together by the people of other countries. Development of the science and technology depends on the analysis and proper understanding of facts. Development of technology depends on the way of application of various scientific knowledge in right direction.
In order to enhance the economy and betterment of the people of any nation, up-to-date knowledge, technology, science, and engineering are the fundamental requisites. A nation can be backward and the chances of being developed country become minimal in the lack of science and technology.
Science and Technology Essay 3 (200 words)
As we all know that we live in the age of science and technology. The life of every one of us is highly depends on the scientific inventions and modern day technologies. Science and technology has changed the lives of people to a great extent. It has made life easy, simple and fast. In the new era, the science development has become a necessity to finish the era of bullock cart and bring the trend of motorized vehicles. Science and technologies have been implemented to the every aspect of modernization in every nation. Modern gadgets have been introduced to every walk of life and have solved almost all the problems. It was not possible to have all the benefits of it without implementing it in the sectors like medicines, education, infrastructure, electricity, aviation, information technology and other field.
What improvement we are seeing in our life on daily basis is because of the science and technologies. For the proper growth and development of the country, it is very necessary to go science and technology hand in hand. Villages are getting developed to towns and towns to cities thus expanding the greater horizons of economy. Our country India is a fast developing country in the sense of science and technology.
Science and Technology Essay 4 (250 words)
Science and technology has become a debated topic in the society. On one hand, it is necessary for the modern life where other countries are continuously developing in the field of science and technology. It becomes very necessary for other countries too to grow in the same way to be strong and well developed like other countries for the future safety and security. It is science and technology which helps other weak countries to develop and be strong. We have to take support of science and technology forever to improve the way of life for the betterment of mankind. If we do not take the help of technologies such as computer, internet, electricity, etc we cannot be economically strong in the future and would be backward forever even we cannot survive in such a competitive and technological world.
Advancement in the field of medical, agriculture, education, economy, sports, games, jobs, tourism, etc are the examples of science and technology. All such advancements show us that how both are equally beneficial for our life. We can see a clear difference in our life style while matching the ancient and modern way of life. High level of scientific and technological advancement in the field of medicine has made easy the treatment of various lethal diseases which was earlier not possible. It has helped a lot to the doctors to find effective ways to cure diseases through medicine or operations as well as research vaccines to cure diseases such as cancer, AIDS, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Leukemia, etc.
Science and Technology Essay 5 (300 words)
The implication of science and technology to the people’s life is very old from the time of Indus Valley Civilization. It was almost first invention when came to know about fire and wheel. Both of the inventions are considered as the mother of all the technological innovations of the modern time. Through the invention of fire people knew about the power of energy first time. Since then, people’s curiosity was increased and they started trying their hard to research about various measures to make life style easy and simple.
India is a most famous country all over the world from the ancient time however after its slavery by the British rule, it had lost its recognition and strength. After getting freedom in 1947, it again had started getting its lost recognition in the crowd. It is the science and technology which has helped India to get its real recognition all over the world. India has become a highly growing country through the new inventions in science and technological advancement. Science and technologies are playing great role in meeting the needs and requirements of the modern people.
Some examples of the advancement in the technologies are establishment of railway system, metro system, railway reservation system, internet, super computers, mobiles, smart phones, online access of people in almost every area, etc. Government of India is creating more opportunity to the space organization and several academic institutions (Indian Association for the Advancement of Science) for the better technological growth and development in the country. Some of the renowned scientists of the India who have made possible the technological advancement in India (through their notable scientific researches in the various fields) are Sir J. C. Bose, S. N. Bose, C. V. Raman, Dr. Homi J. Bhabha, Srinivasa Ramanujan, father of India’s nuclear power, Dr. Har Govind Singh Khorana, Vikram Sarabhai, etc.
Science and Technology Essay 6 (400 words)
Science and technology plays vital role in the modern life and profoundly influenced the course of human civilization. Technological advancement in the modern life has provided us lots of remarkable insights all over the world. Scientific revolutions has taken its full speed from the 20th century and has become more advance in the 21st century. We have entered to the new century in new ways and with all the arrangements for well being of the people. Modern culture and civilization has become dependent over the science and technologies as they have become integral part of life according to the need and requirement of the people.
India has become an important source of the creative and foundational scientific developments and approaches all across the world. All the great scientific discoveries and technological achievements in our country have improved the Indian economic status and have created many new ways to the new generations to grow in the technologically advanced environment. There are many new scientific researches and development have been possible in the field of Mathematics, Architecture, Chemistry, Astronomy, Medicine, Metallurgy, Natural Philosophy, physics, agriculture, health care, pharmaceuticals, astrophysics, nuclear energy, space technology, applications, defense research, biotechnology, information technology, electronics, oceanography and other areas.
Introduction of scientific researches, ideas and techniques to the field of education has brought a huge level of positive change in the new generation and provided them variety of new and innovative opportunities to work in the field of their own interest. Modem science in India has been awakened by the continuous and hard efforts of the outstanding scientists. Scientists in India are great who have made possible the scientific advances of highest international calibre.
Technological development in any filed enhances the economy of any nation. In order to improve the power of science and technology in India, Indian government has made Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in the year 1942 and Board of Scientific and Industrial Research in the year 1940. In order to emphasize the growth of science and technology in the country, Indian government has established a chain of national laboratories and research institutes in various regions.
After the independence, our country has been involved in the promotion of spread of science for the national development. Variety of policies made by the government has emphasized the self-sufficiency and sustainable growth and development all through the country. Both science and technology have impacted the economic growth and social development in the country in extraordinary manner.