Genetically Modified Foods What would you do in the following situations? You are a tomato farmer whose crops are threatened by a persistent species of beetle.
Introduction Representatives from Mexico, the USA and Canada met in Alberta, Canada, to examine the impact of scientific change on society and its governance.
By intention, many points raised cut across the specific introductory topics. The report groups the resulting discussion under six broad themes: The meeting was not intended to define an official North American position; rather, participants were invited in their capacity as professional scientists, to present their personal perspectives on the changing role of science in society and governance in an open forum.
From this frank and penetrating exchange, a number of general observations and conclusions emerged that are relevant to the concept and agenda of the World Science Conference. These are accompanied by suggestions for action recommended by some or several participants.
Science in Transition In the past, our scientific methods and institutions have tended to emphasize the study of individual natural processes rather than systems, analysis more than synthesis, and understanding nature more than predicting its behaviour.
And in many instances, science has focussed on short-term, small-scale problems, often in monodisciplinary mode, rather than on long-term, large-scale or integrated problems. While these approaches and perspectives have built up a considerable base of knowledge and led to a vast portfolio of useful technologies, especially in the 20th century, many of the problems now facing humankind can be solved only if we approach science more holistically.
Greater effort is needed to understand integrated natural systems on multiple time and space scales. Scientific findings must also be applied at the right scales. The impact of technological interventions on individual people, communities and the environment must also be carefully considered.
To do this, science needs to become more multidisciplinary and its practitioners should continue to promote cooperation and integration between the social and natural sciences. A holistic approach also demands that science draw on the contributions of the humanities such as history and philosophylocal knowledge systems, aboriginal wisdom, and the wide variety of cultural values.
While recent benefits to humanity are unparalleled in the history of the human species, in some instances the impact has been harmful or the long-term effects give causes for serious concerns. A considerable measure of public mistrust of science and fear of technology exists today. In part, this stems from the belief by some individuals and communities that they will be the ones to suffer the indirect negative consequences of technical innovations introduced to benefit only a privileged minority.
The power of science to bring about change places a duty on scientists to proceed with great caution both in what they do and what they say. Scientists should reflect on the social consequences of the technological applications or dissemination of partial information of their work and explain to the public and policy makers alike the degree of scientific uncertainty or incompleteness in their findings.
At the same time, though, they should not hesitate to fully exploit the predictive power of science, duly qualified, to help people cope with environmental change, especially in cases of direct threats like natural disasters or water shortages. The current trend toward privatization in many countries is influencing the focus and practice of science.
While in some instances the net result may be to increase research capacity and knowledge in selected areas, there is major concern that the trend may be undermining public-sector science, especially fundamental research and efforts to solve socially important problems of no interest to commercial enterprises.
Patent protection of private intellectual property, for example, makes the job of public research more difficult. There is also concern over the social implications of private ownership and control of technology, and its effect on broad public scientific literacy, and on options for public choice.
Another major trend shaping science is globalization. However, much of the expansion is occurring in just a handful of scientifically advanced countries.
For science to be truly global, more effort is needed to ensure all countries, rich and poor, and a wide range of world cultures are included in collaborative research and technology transfer. This is especially important in areas like global climate change which will affect, sooner or later, all human beings.
With the right policies in place, joint scientific work in critical areas such as the Arctic, for example, could serve as a model for other types of global cooperation. A major challenge for global science is to find institutional arrangements conducive to success. The proliferation of international networks and programs, the so-called "acronym jungle", reflects a rather ad hoc approach, necessitated in part by the narrowness of purposes of established scientific institutions and the lack of strategic, integrated support by national governments in areas like global change or international aid.
Some is based on public experience, but much is the consequence of a significant communications gap between scientists and society. Many reasons are advanced for these attitudes: The issue of nuclear waste disposal is one example of how the gap between scientific findings which, in this case, suggest that safe disposal technologies exist that are at least as safe as other industrial risks accepted by society and public opinion and behaviour continuing opposition to the use of such technologies may sometimes appear intractable, that is, not amenable to solution simply through improved communication or further technical research.
In communicating their ideas, scientists should make clear the limitations of their predictions and other pronouncements.
But they should not shy away from public pronouncements just because their messages contradict public wishes or expectations; indeed, they should be prepared for negative reactions in those instances, and carefully explain the basis for their scientific conclusions or opinions.
Apart from communication by the mass media which is largely unidirectional, communication in the sense of an ongoing dialogue between scientists, the public, and policy-makers is also important. This may take many forms:- 1. Introduction It is no surprise that technology is rapidly taking over the world, and defining the day to day lives we live.
As humans we are constantly engaged in some form of technology. However, the role of technology in early childhood classroom is a growing and controversial topic.
Technology has played a vital role in bringing us humans where we are today. Our ancestors used technology in the form of tools like axes for agriculture.
Every small invention is a form of technology. The company expected its cutting-edge leadership in heat-transfer technology — such as that which led to the development of PF condensers, light-weight aluminum radiators and parts, and Beta-Weld radiators — to pay ongoing dividends.
Technology in business is a growing necessity. As the years go by, the business world is leaning more and more toward it, making it almost impossible to separate the two from each other.
Innovation breeds business, and since technology paves the way for it, it can be gathered here that business needs technology to be sustained.
The tragedy of the commons is a very real economic issue where individuals tend to exploit shared resources so the demand greatly outweighs supply, and the resource becomes unavailable for the whole. The Role of Science and Technology in Society and Governance.
for example, makes the job of public research more difficult. There is also concern over the social implications of private ownership and control of technology, and its effect on broad public scientific literacy, and on options for public choice.
and a wide range of world.