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Research Paper Proposal

The topic that I will be researching for my paper is the relationship between technology and society throughout time and how that relationship has shaped the nature of humans and our current society today. The questions I will consider are a.) How has the relationship between humans and technology changed over time? and b.) Has the increasing presence of technology impacted humans/society positively or negatively? My intention is to look for patterns in history where innovations in technology and science have caused a significant change in humans’ perception of the world and whether or not that change has been beneficial to society or harmful to society. This topic directly relates to STS because it questions society’s reaction to changes in science technology and how this has been an issue present throughout history, even though it is not entirely overt. I believe this is an important topic to consider because while technology has undoubtedly many benefits, such as increasing efficiency, prolonging health, and overall an improvement in ease of living, there are hidden negatives of technology that are often overlooked. Additionally, this topic also covers how the definition of technology has changed throughout time. While the issue of technological reliance has been present throughout history, technology in the sixteenth century looks very different from technology today, and recognizing that is vital; that recognition teaches us how fluid and ever changing technology truly is. Finding a pattern of the impacts of technological innovations throughout history can help the human race to avoid becoming too reliant on technology.

My plan for constructing my essay is to work chronologically, starting with the debate between geocentrism and heliocentrism which involved astronomers such as Aristotle and Copernicus. Then, I will move through history, looking at a multitude of the subjects we covered in class, moving on to Darwin and the theory of evolution, while still focusing on how this advancement in science affected society as a whole. I will then elaborate on the Scientific Revolution, using sources such as Scientific Revolution by Steven Shapin to gain insight on how the Scientific Revolution was perceived at the time by the general public. I will also discuss the societal effect of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as it was a timeless novel that focused on the dangers of technology, an issue that is still present today. I also plan on researching and describing the effects of the assembly line, a movement in the early 20th century that forever affected production and the qualifications of a worker. After that, I will talk about scientific advancements/dilemmas we face today, like space travel, ageing, and more. I will use the source, or a source similar to, Science, Technology, and the Ageing Society by Tiago Moreira to learn more about ethical problems created by technology. Finally, I will conclude the paper by forming a pattern based on everything I discussed previously in the paper. I intend on using that pattern to point out a common theme between all of the technological advancements mentioned, thus forming a strong argument for why scientific innovations can become harmful.

The Two Cultures

In C.P. Snow’s The Two Cultures, he explains and describes the gap that lies between the sciences and humanities. I personally agree that there is a gap and that the two things are very much separate. Science and the humanities are very different, the ideas, concept, the way we think about the two subject matters are on opposite sides of the spectrum. They are both specialties in which people can excel at however in history you would have never seen a famous scientist converse ideas and new thoughts with a historian.  Continue reading

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