The significance and role of science and technology and its impact on society has changed drastically throughout the course of history. Science drives technological advancement, and we have witnessed the great benefits of these developments along with detriments as time moves forward.

Science, in its purest form, spawns from man’s creative power. As Ralph Waldo Emerson states, “Science does not know its debt to imagination.” It takes imagination to inspire curiosity for science to examine. Scientists throughout history have built upon the findings of others, all of which started with curiosity and the desire for knowledge. Similarly, as John Dewey once said, “Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.”

Science is knowledge, and knowledge is power. Writer Al Boliska once asked, “Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight?” Thanks to technology, people live longer and more comfortably as generations expand. At the same time however, the power that science gives us to produce technology is virtually unlimited. The concern for its potentially harmful cultural, physical, and societal impacts in today’s climate must not be ignored.

The technology today is incomparable to the technology from a century ago. For example, Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb in 1879, and from there, we have seen major advancements in regards to artificial light technology. Now, the world does not experience a millisecond in which there is no light. This poses the growing problem of light pollution, an issue that one could not fathom a hundred years ago. The increase of the use of technology coincides with the increase of the harmful impact on the world we live in. Like what Alan M. Edison once said, “Modern technology, owes ecology, an apology.”

Technology today consumes virtually every aspect of life. For most people in this generation, our lives revolve around the rectangular, carbon-fiber and glass conglomerate we call our phones. Our phones combine everything we could possibly need, communication, a GPS, a hub for social media, and music. While incredibly convenient, I believe this particular technology has an isolating effect in a way. Face-to-face interaction seems more futile when pictures of your face can be sent to anyone in fractions of a second. People must bear in mind that “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men [while] No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” –Elbert Hubbard

The relationship between science and technology is greatly interconnected, and people should find it both exciting and apprehensive for what is to come in the future. As scientist Richard Feynman put it, “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” As of now at least, we only have one Earth to live on, and we cannot afford to let technology and science take over to the point where the detriments outweigh the benefits.