Science, in the very act of solving problems, creates more of them. ~Abraham Flexner, Universities, 1930

 

The above quote offers the idea that each scientific breakthrough humanity makes, further complicates our understanding of science. This phenomenon, while seemingly contradictory, is very true. Each time a new discovery is made, numerous questions arise from it. Take for example the first time another galaxy was found. People pondered a variety of questions like could it support another life form, How many other galaxies were out there, how big could a galaxy they be, to name a few.  These act as just a few examples of the plethora of questions that scientists asked following one discovery. It is simply, human nature to posses curiosity to understand the properties our world, and science is the tool we use to solve our uncertainty. Being a scientist is like chasing one’s shadow because in both cases just when the goal feels within reach, it moves a little further away. Answering all the questions of science, like shadow chasing, is simply an impossible task. In shadow chasing the silhouette physically shifts making reaching it unfeasible. While science can never be fully understood as each time a breakthrough is made more questions come from it.

Today, one can observe that society is never satisfied scientific achievement, but rather looks to see how further advancement can be made. The improvements made to the cell phone in my lifetime illustrate this idea. I recall getting my first phone in 6th grade. It was a flip phone that possessed the ability to make calls, send texts, and run a few simple games. As I got older and years passed improvements were made. Devices such as the nv3 offered full keyboards, and the nvTouch allowed for touch screen use. Today, the most popular brand, the iPhone, is virtually a pocket computer with an uncountable number of functions. While their is no arguing that the iPhone offers more functionality than my first cell phone, the argument could be made that I would be happier with my 6th grade flip phone. One might believe that the iPhone presents too many distractions that make it difficult to live in the present moment, or that the accessibility to social media on iPhone’s can cause unwanted anxiety. Although this narrative is often recited by the older generation. I believe there are some serious truths to these claims.

After working at a sleep-away summer camp, where my cell phone access was limited to past 11 pm when all of the campers were in bed I experienced the benefits of a smartphone free life. I was forced to connect with other counselors through conversation and activity which would not have occurred if everyone was looking down at their electronics.  As a result I built great friendships. Although I am not ready to trade in my iPhone for a flip phone, this experience challenges the notion that having the latest technology is better.

In the world of science and technology we are often chasing our shadow. We will never truly accomplish all of our goals, and will be left with a taste of dissatisfaction. In some cases advancement benefits society while in other cases advancement can actually damage society. In this class I look forward to further understanding the positive and negative effects of innovation.