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Author: Scott Gosnell (Page 1 of 2)

Society and Science

I believe science should be governed by a mix of experts and society as a whole. Science is such an important topic that everyone needs to be involved. The progression of science effects society economically, politically, and socially in so many different ways. There needs to be a balance between general people and experts involved in the governance of science.

The huge problem is that often people do not try to understand science. Since the intellectual capacity for scientists is so high, many people consider science a whole different language. The terms and meanings often go over many people’s heads. Most people stop studying science after High School and therefore lack the confidence to attempt to grasp specific implications fully.

Science is too important not to be vetted by people in society. Scientists are humans also and face external pressures every day. They are not hidden from natural biases and subjective thoughts that impact their work. Throughout history, the dangers of science have been exposed. From experiments to mass destruction weapons, scientists have been put in positions to make exceedingly tough moral decisions. While science makes so many important discoveries every day and improves citizens lives, a broader community involvement could help impact many choices.

I believe a natural place to start would be involving people affected a particular subject. Involving patients or people affected with certain disorders could naturally spark conversation. For science to thrive at a peak level socially, innovatively, and morally, society needs to be involved. The public’s perspective can provide insights into the science community that can help improve everyone’s lives. Science needs to be looked at as entertainment, sports, and politics. Everyone spends much time critiquing these topics, but not science. Somehow science needs to appeal to the public in a way other issues do to make an impact.

Women in Engineering

Throughout history, women have been steered away from math and sciences. American culture emphasized the ideas of a classic woman. Ideals around women centered around looks, home life, and taking a back seat to men regarding employment. In the early 1900’s women had set roles that were very difficult to change. American men who dominated many fields were very biased on what women could accomplish, especially in math and sciences. There were very few women that were encouraged to enter into math and sciences. When women would decide to pursue professions like engineering, they faced discrimination every day in their fight to gain respect.

Since World War II, the influence of women in math and sciences has increased substantially. According to Amy Bix, World War II was one of the turning points for women in Engineering. During this time many colleges and universities created programs to get women involved in engineering to help support war efforts. The need for women to help the war effort gave opportunities for hundreds of women to become involved in these university programs. As women learned and grew into their roles, there was still a lot of discrimination. Many colleges rejected the idea of giving women any opportunities and questioned their ability to be engineers. Women had to prove every day to society they were worthy of engaging in that type of work.

Once women took on a more significant role in engineering after WWII, this created a more considerable amount of interest for women to pursue the field. These programs gave a path for women to establish themselves in engineering and also provided new role models for women to follow. Over time women pursuing engineering has grown substantially and there are so many more chances for women to get Jobs. As Amy Bix explained, the field is still not perfect for women to enter, but the improvement has been substantial since WWII.

Technological Advancement in WWI

Throughout the twentieth-century technological advances have changed warfare and the dynamics of war. To stay ahead of other countries, the United States puts a strong emphasis on the development of technological weapons. The advancement of technology and warfare impacts war, but many people wonder if the progress of warfare in global wars positively impact the world. In this post, I will examine the technological advancement in World War One to explore if the improvements were beneficial or detrimental.

World War One popularized the use of the machine gun and landmines in a way that the world did not see before. Before WWI, movement across the open land was the norm. After the introduction of the machine gun, the move across the open area was a lot more dangerous, and this sparked trench warfare. Also, the British introduced tanks in WWI and this caused for a more powerful approach to land attacks. Chemical gasses were introduced which caused the mass killing of opponents in trenches. These gas attacks were seen as deadly approaches to war and a form of scientific torture at the time. Sea and Air long-distance strikes also became more accurate during WWI. All of these technological advancements caused WWI to be a long war because traditional strategies to battle were challenged. All of the countries were not able to adapt to the technology creating a war in which the winner was the country who could survive the longest.

The advancement of technology in WWI created a shift toward the mass killing ability in Wars. Machine guns could kill rows of soldiers at once, and gas attacks could kill hundreds of soldiers. The advancement of this technology must be seen as negative. The effects of the death tolls from WWI were felt across the globe. Millions had been killed, gassed, maimed, or starved. The shift to modern warfare negatively changed civilization due to the constant worries that war can seriously change the dynamics of everyday life in a given country. The chemical warfare in WWI set the stage for the Atomic Bomb race seen in WWII.

Research Proposal

Topic: Digital Technology’s impact on personal well-being

Critical Question: Will the advancement of digital technology and a continual expanding virtual environment create a reduction in personal well-being?

Thesis: The advancement of digital technology can dangerously harm the personal well-being of humans going forward if there is not a focus on creating solutions to problems that will arise.

For my research project, I want to look at the effects digital technology has on personal well-being and what this means for the future. This paper will start by examining the possible effects digital technology can have on human’s well-being. In today’s world society is constantly learning about the negative side effects technology can have on a person’s mental and physical health. As digital technology advances, society has become more effectuated with digital technology. For example, Social Media increasingly is a part of more and more people’s lives. The constant attention toward social media creates people to live in a more virtual world. More and more friendships are focused online, and people miss out on human interaction. A key aspect of a person’s mental health is social interaction. In a world where social interaction is constantly being diminished, the negative effects of digital technology are very apparent. On top of a social interaction, there are problems with addiction, security, and duress that can impact a person’s well-being. In this paper, I hope to look at the dangers these issues will have on the mental and physical health of people. Once the issues are established, I will then explore potential remedies as digital technology advances into the future.

General Outline

Introduction- My introduction will lay out the background knowledge of digital technology and the basis of my paper. My thoughts will lay out the main talking points and capture an effort to develop my thesis on how digital technology can harm the personal well-being of people.

Body Paragraph One- This paragraph will build on my thesis and look at how digital technology affects social interaction in a negative way. Once the negative effects are established I will tie the paragraph together by showing how negative social interaction can affect a person’s health and well-being.

Body Paragraph Two- The second body paragraph will further look into the negative impacts of digital technology but look at this in terms of addiction. Addiction to social media and other forms of digital technology greatly increase a reliance on a virtual world. As a person becomes more addicted to digital technology, there is a correlation to a diminishing well-being.

Body Paragraph Three- This paragraph will look at the security effects of digital technology. In terms of job security and the ability to get hacked for important information, digital technology advancement can be detrimental to a person’s security on many levels.

Body Paragraphs 4-6: These paragraphs will explore possible solutions to the issues that are prevalent with digital security . Over time the problems that digital technology create must be addressed. I will attempt to search for logical steps to help preserve the well-being of humans in a way that can coexist with technological advancement.

Conclusion- Create a closing paragraph that ties together my thoughts and understanding of how digital technology negatively impacts a person’s health on many levels.

Sources:

“Home.” 10 New Problems Technology Will Create for Charities | Giving Thought, www.cafonline.org/about-us/blog-home/giving-thought/the-future-of-doing-good/future-imperfect.

Anderson, Janna, and Lee Rainie. “The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World | Pew Research Center.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, 14 June 2018, www.pewinternet.org/2018/04/17/the-future-of-well-being-in-a-tech-saturated-world/.

Parry, Carys. Addiction to technological devices: Its effect on an individual’s health, lifestyle and social skills. Diss. Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2016.

The Two Cultures

In my opinion Scientific Knowledge does in fact have a special status, but it is not apart from culture. Science is so important because it concerns fundamental truths of nature. The advancement science provides allows for so many positive aspects. For example, Biotech companies are making instrumental progress around the world in fighting diseases and illnesses. The fact these advancements are happening in our lifetime is remarkable. I argue that this is a part of culture because scientific knowledge directly impacts everyday life. Also we can look look at environmental preservation. The discovery and understanding of global warming play a considerable role in our culture as we are always trying to find ways to improve our living to enhance the health of our planet. Without scientists our day to day life would look a lot different. Our society would not be as advanced in education, technology, and quality of life.

With that said I believe there is a bridge between the humanities and science. It is essential for us to understand humanities to understand science. The intellectual thought and simulations allow people to know how to approach what is not identified in the world. Science provides a lot of answers and truths, but not everything Is accounted for. Humanities allow for society to ponder questions and strive for authenticity. This idea of thinking is a necessary component to be able to develop deeper understandings behind science as well. Humanities provide a look at history and social recognition. One culture would not be able to function without the other. Science is robust to learn. Many Children often grow up learning from under-qualified teachers that do not spark strong intellectual growth. That adds to the gap because there are not as many scientists in the world. With both cultures working in harmony there would be natural growth of understanding in science and society.

 

Darwinian Evolution

Charles Darwin’s book, “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, shared new thoughts on evolution with the world. The two main points from the book were that all life on earth is connected and that modifications of populations were sparked by natural selection. Darwinian Evolution became tied up with the saying “Survival of the Fittest.” Inherently natural selection is the idea that traits that are beneficial to an organism surviving and reproducing will be inherited by their offspring.

Darwinian Evolution captures the cycle of science developing from the past to the present. When Charles Darwin first developed his natural selection theory, he brought a mechanism to old philosophy. For example, ancient Greek philosophers wrote about ideas of the descent of man from animals. Charles Darwin took these ideas and observed how organisms developed. His thoughts and ideas provided a new truth to be understood. Over time scientists have been able to build upon Darwin’s theory. We now know more about genetics and how genes encode certain traits. Understanding how specific genes are passed down to offspring has been crucial to understanding mutations in organisms.

My point here is that Darwin made an inference on studying the pattern of evolution. As science developed, they were able to understand the mechanism more clearly to show how Genetics and DNA caused certain traits to be passed down.  Science is a series of building blocks. One person’s theory allows others to provide truths. Society can sometimes misunderstand these theories. Like we saw with the Eugenics movement, not all theories can have a positive impact in society. Darwinism opened up a pathway to expand society’s view on racial inequalities.  This also shows that while Darwin made a huge impact on understanding evolution, society can sometimes twist things around. In today’s world, we must understand the implications behind discoveries. It is important for science to grow and for people to gain new insights, but we must always be careful in how we understand discoveries.

Frankenstein’s Message

The main message that Frankenstein conveys is the danger in the pursuit of knowledge and advancement in Science and Technology.  In the novel we see Victor try to push forward the limits of science by creating a creature from old body parts. The creation of the creature backfired on Victor once the monster escaped. Victor’s life became obsessed with the monster because he could not control his creation. In the end, Victor lost everything from his pursuit to push science and limit of human knowledge.

Frankenstein shows the issue that can come from technological and scientific advancement. It can be too much for human’s to control causing a spiral downward. I think that this book shows how important it is to understand the advancement of Science and Technology. A huge part of the novel is the fact that Victor is not able to adapt to his creation. He did not take care of the monster or provide him with a partner. He brought the monster to life, but in the end, victor could not control his creation.

I think this underlying message of not being prepared for a creation is extremely relevant to today’s society. As artificial intelligence is continually expanding every day, it is important to understand the ramifications of discovery. In social culture, we see shows like Black Mirror that capture the negative effects technological advancements can have on humans. Technology has the power to bring out human traits that are not positive. If we let technology take over our lives then we will lose our human elements. We must constantly stay aware of the implications technological advancement has on society. As the world continues to evolve in advancement there must be knowledge of how to adapt. That said, we must welcome advancements in science and technology. If we do not then there will be a negative effect on society as we saw with Victor.

Scientific Revolution

The Scientific Revolution around the 16th and 17th century changed the path of Science starting with Nicholas Copernicus belief in a heliocentric cosmos. This view that the earth moved around went against popular belief but sparked a string of complex discoveries that set the new standard for Scientific truth. Copernicus’ discovery led to advanced and more exact discoveries of the cosmos by in regards to the motion of the galaxy. All of the work by scientists like Tycho Bache, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Rene Descartes led to Issac Newton connecting the Universe by a standard set of universal rules.

Newton’s laws marked a change from qualitative thought to the quantitative fact that still impacts science today. The world was no longer the cosmos and land, but a fortified universe. This quantitative thought was necessary for the advancement of Science and Technology. The Scientific Revolution started the switch between philosophical thought and understanding nature. Nature as humans knew it was challenged. God was always the center of the universe, but with the new scientific discoveries, people started to wonder. People wanted to know answers behind the nature we live in. The Scientific Revolution Sparked human’s desire to continually push the envelope on logic and discover new truths.

In today’s society, science and technology dominate the landscape. Everyone is challenged to discover new limits for technology and science. Professionals in their respective fields urge to leave legacies like Newton and Copernicus. In many regards, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are influenced by this Scientific Revolution. Like those Scientists of the time, they pushed against popular beliefs to make advancements like the computer and iPhone. The corresponding legacies of the Scientific Revolution cannot be understated. Human knowing was forever changed and with the mechanical mindset developed we have been able to progress throughout time. So while the Scientific Revolution sparked new truths in the 16th century, society still feels the influence of pushing to new realities in technology and science today.

Understanding Technology

The understanding of technology changes as time goes on. Throughout history, technology has created different effects on society. Yet it is important to understand that tech is bigger than products and ideas. As Anil Dash says, “Technology isn’t an industry, it’s a method of transforming the culture and economics of existing systems and institutions.”

This means that technology changes but it’s effect on society have not on a macro level. For example, the industrial revolution changed how the world forever. The world went from hand production methods to machines. An industrial boom created a societal shift with the new reliance on high powered machines that caused mass production. The culture changed in ways many people never could imagine. Labor jobs were not as needed.  A certain individual could make a lot more money. Everyone had to adapt.

The technological advancement of computers is very similar to the industrial revolution. Companies and people rely on computers and phones for everyday life. Literally, the world would not be able to function if computer technology got interrupted. Similar to the industrial revolution computer technology changed society. Culture and economics are forever impacted by the advances of digital technology. Now it is all about how can technology cut costs and time for companies and individuals. Digital technology also created a shift in cultural actions and everyday life through connectivity.

Technology’s meaning has changed over time. Thoreau describes technology as “an improved means to an unimproved end.” This pretty much challenges that technology may make things easier, but what is the result of that. This definitely applies to technological advancements today. Many people will wonder if having a cell phone at their hand at all times will really provide them with more happiness than if they did not have one. Flash forward to today, David Nye describes technology as,  “The sum total of systems of machines and techniques that underlie a civilization…. Not merely a system of machines with certain functions, but an expression of a social world.” It is important to not view technology as product advancement but that to understand technology is to understand the effects it has on cultural, economics, and society.

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