Science & Society

What role does science have in society? I would assume that science’s role in society is to explore and discover new paths that we as society can take to move us forward in the future. But science also has to inform society about these new discoveries. Giving society access to the information it has so that we can be better prepared for whatever comes next. I think that science needs to make sure people in every part of the world are informed about these discoveries, especially if they are health related, because as I saw in the first episode of Rx for Survival, Riders for Health, a lot of deaths can be prevented if people are informed and have excess to primary health care. In first world countries this isn’t a problem, everyone has access to the information either through school, their doctor, or just by looking it up on Google. But as I saw in the first episode of Rx for Survival people in Africa and probably other third world countries don’t have any of the necessary resources to get to that information. People may think that all science has to do is publish its findings and it does not have the responsibility to make sure society knows that information and understands it. But then if science had the chance to save thousands of people just by making information more widespread won’t it be done? We, in the US, might be living in the 21st century but their are still people living in the 13th century and they can be moved forward if only they had better access to information. If I had the capacity, I would fund an organization that goes around spreading the latest discoveries that science has come out with. That organization’s goal would be to make sure as many people as possible in third world countries are informed. I believe that science has a huge obligation to inform the general population because the reason the 21st century in first world countries is the way it is is because of science and the discoveries it has made. Science informing the general population is a big reason the human population keeps moving forward instead of being stuck in the medieval times.

When we consider moving forward into the future we face many ethical questions. Questions about what information should be made to public and what shouldn’t play only a small part. When we look into the future we wonder what we, the human population, will look like. We look a bit different than the humans alive a hundred years ago so we will look a bit different a hundred years from now. And with all this technology we have today we wonder whether it’s ethical to alter the human body using technology. Juan Enriquez, in the TED Talk What will humans look like 100 years, says that it is ethical to alter the human body because altering the human body will lead us to live in space and survive any major extinctions. And I agree with that. Today we do alter the human body either for beauty or for health reasons, so why not alter it to benefit the human population surviving in the universe?

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