The implementation of science and technology in global wars was done out of necessity; moreover, it led way to many advancements in engineering, chemistry, physics, and the medical field.While there may not have been any direct links to the use of science and technology before the twentieth century, advancements in all fields guaranteed the use of scientific and technological knowledge in something as pertinent as global wars.  The encompassing nature of a nation’s military ensured a reliance on science and technology due to the need for improvement in medical practices, tactical techniques, and weaponry.  If one were to examine the interdependency of the military field with that of science and technology, I do not believe you would be able to pinpoint a specific start as military tactics are built on knowledge and so are the scientific and technological fields.  Naomi Oreskes paraphrases Michael Gordon, who specializes in the history of the modern physical sciences, in “Science in the Origins of the Cold War”, “the Cold War was as much about knowledge about knowledge— who had it and who didn ’ t — as it was about the knowledge itself” (13).  I support Oreskes connection that the knowledge that everyone wanted and needed for war could have only been provided by doctors, physicists, engineers, and other scientists.

Whether any technological and scientific advancements applied in global wars were detrimental or beneficial depends on the person you are asking.  In regards to the scientific field, one can deduce that the governmental support of advancements allowed for greater resources and thus more knowledge.  However, one can argue that the influx of governmental resources came with a caveat to create or discover only knowledge that would be pertinent to military advancements.  When dealing with advancements in weaponry, such as the atomic bomb and chemical warfare, one can say that science only maximized the casualty rate; on the other hand, one can argue that the casualty rate would have been equal — simply over a longer period of time- or less without the use of current weaponry.  Nevertheless, the use of scientific and technological knowledge in global wars seems to have benefited both the scientific and military fields.

Sources:

Dano, Rubee. “The Science of Destruction: How WWI Drove Development in Science and Technology.” Lateral Magazine, 3 Aug. 2015, www.lateralmag.com/articles/issue-1/how-wwi-drove-development-in-science-and-technology. Philosophy and History, Issue 1.

Naomi Oreskes, “Science in the Origins of the Cold War” in Naomi Oreskes and John Krige (eds.), Science and Technology in the Global Cold War(Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2014), 11–30.

“The Death of Certainty” and “1957: The Year the World Became a Planet,” in Andrew Ede and Lesley B. Cormack, A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility, Second Edition(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), pp. 295–348.