Over the last century, scientific advancement has changed every aspect of our lives. From medicine involving simpler and more effective disease control and cure, to the description of the atom and use of atomic energy, and to the industrial use of chemicals, our society is safer, more productive and efficient than ever before.

It is apparent that somewhere between a quarter and a half of scientists and engineers worldwide are engaged on military projects. For instance, the study of meteorology has greatly accelerated due to the military’s extensive reliance on  weather patterns and conditions. There is a strong research interest in modifying the behavior of weather for military operations. The research involved in weather that was carried out during the two major world wars strengthened the ability for scientists to predict and analyze weather patterns.

In terms of atomic research, the manhattan project, a research and development undertaking that occurred at the height of WWII, produced the first nuclear weapons. The ability of the reactors to create previously unknown radioactive isotopes of elements and compounds led to advances in the way cancer was treated once scientists realized radiation’s effectiveness at killing cancer cells. Thus, new programs for cancer patients and new treatment options became available to hospitals around the country.  Many of the laboratories originally used for the manhattan project are still in operation today, while serving for more humanitarian purposes.

War influences not only specific scientific projects but also the whole direction of technological innovation. This in turn influences the ongoing focus of scientific research, which is at all times influenced by current technologies.