The scientific and technological advancement of our society is due not only to great minds but also the political agendas for people in power. 

As R. Buckminster Fuller once said, “Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”  When one delves into the reasons for the great inventions of today, we find that the inventor or scientist is more often than not funded by someone whose first priority is not the relieve of the people.

The funding for research or sale of an invention to governments or private-organizations often entail the total relinquishment of control over such advancements.  The morality of the use of those innovations is dependent on the sponsor or owner of that knowledge; for example, Arthur Galston was a botanist whose research on soybean flowering  was used by the military to create Agent Orange.  Galston did not intend for his synthesis of triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA) to become the primary hormone used in the creation of a biological weapon that not only killed enemy crops but also caused birth defects in thousands of children.  The atomic bomb, warfare airplanes, and weapons-grade pepper spray are all similar instances of inventions and research material that were transformed into what are well-known inventions today.

While there are many instances of advancements in science and technology benefitting society, there are far too many misapplications of scientific and technological advancements.  Another example is the control that is allowed by large pharmaceutical companies in the retainment of intellectual property in order to monopolize the cost of a drug.  Furthermore, the veneration and profit that many science and technological advancements receive, like the jacking up of drug prices, do not directly benefit the scientists, researchers, and inventors.  Future scientific and technological advancements will probably continue to be dictated and used for political agendas; however, we can continue to hope that they will be positive to society.

 

Sources:

http://www.quotegarden.com/technology.html

https://bigthink.com/laurie-vazquez/6-scientists-who-regret-their-greatest-inventions

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/23/reason-drugs-cost-so-much-big-pharmaceuticals-rich