Science and technology is the threshold for development in modern society. They define today’s innovations which govern our cultures and habits for our routine activities. Science and technology are on a constant verge of advancement, perhaps increasing. Advances in science and technology have revolutionized the world in several ways including improving every occupation that man has designed. Additionally, it has elevated man’s success in unravelling the secrets of the world, which hold to a potential for further development. However, these advancements come at a price. Acknowledging the fact that these advancements bring about more harm is inevitable. Human life has been threatened by advancements in science and technology. Steven Hawking, the Mathematics professor who took the place of Isaac Newton, warned that advances in science and technology are the biggest threat to the human race especially in modern times (Cellan 2). This paper seeks to illustrate how these advances always carry some harm, in an in-depth manner.
The significant benefits of science and technological advances
These advances are important to the survival of mankind, and so it is imperative to understand the scope of the benefits promised by technological advancements; it has led to the improvement of production ways. Production has been shifted from small-scale to large-scale. Transport and communication systems have been developed to allow the convenient interaction of people. The medical industry has also advanced in the diagnosis of health. Most recently, the vaccine for HIV&AIDs was discovered. This is a revolutionary step not only to the health actors but also to the entire human race. Precisely, advances in science and technology have become the guide to success today with a guarantee of more innovations. However, the harm arising from the innovations are equally significant in the modern world.
Manufacture of drugs and the problem of addiction
Modern technology is under constant reformation by the exploration of science, leading to new discoveries in the designing of alcohol and tobacco. There are over 1000 brands of alcohol today. Classified depending on the production technique, there are several types made from the science of alcohol compounds. Brandy, Whisky, Vodka, Beer, Wines etc. While alcohol consumption is under stern age regulation, it is a free choice solely by the individual. Alcohol is a product consumed globally by the youths, adults and old aged. However, the consumption of alcohol has brought about more problems in the world. From its contribution to car accidents to fatality extremes, it poses a clear threat to humanity. Cases of addiction are on the rise, enslaving individuals to the chronic dependence on alcohol. Drugs like tobacco have been refined a number of times but still claiming more lives than each former decade. The World Health Organization demanded that tobacco processing industries pay more taxes annually because the health cases arising from tobacco consumption is on the rise (WHO 2015).
Medical research and biological weapons
Research in the medical sector has led mankind to solve many health problems. Including the ability to treat infections that were untreatable before, the medical sector has demonstrated significant advancement. However, medical research is a risky experience especially in the handling of deadly viruses. The medical actors may be exposed to the viruses they barely know much about. For instance, late last year, a physician who travelled from Congo to the US was exposed to the Ebola virus in Africa. This was a threat to the entire population around the infected. However, the situation was contained with precaution upon discovery. Furthermore, state conflicts led to the establishment of military groups. Biological weapons were devised to be used in war. Diseases such as Smallpox, Ebola, and yellow fever are believed to be designed by man. The US was the leading manufacturer of the Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses (HFVs) but the production of biological weapons was banned after the First World War. However, these health problems are a threat to the human race today. They have the potential to call for national security measures (Evans & Commins).
There is an increasing rate of machinery accidents today. While science seeks to discover ways to build reliable machines, technological innovations seem to claim more lives almost daily. Despite the fact that air transport is the fastest, the possibility of surviving a plane crash is almost zero. The Boeing plane crash on the Ethiopian airlines killed 157 people. It happened about 12 hours after another plane in Canada killed 12 people including a mayor. It led to the suspension of all Boeing planes worldwide. Cargo and travel ships too have demonstrated failure and many have capsized in cases of storms or mechanical malfunction. Car accidents claim far more lives daily. The human desire to explore space also proved unworthy when the Challenger disaster happened. The US rocket exploded 73 seconds after takeoff, killing seven highly trained personnel. Besides, it was a major economic meltdown for NASA, which suspended all its space missions (Resag 250). Evidently, science has led to the designation of modern machinery which do not guarantee the protection of human life, instead, increasing death trolls.
Conclusively, advances in science and technology have proved to be disastrous. The human race is on the verge of extinction because of science and technology. As seen, it increases man’s exposure to risk, which in one way or another, point to futile extremes. Humans are curious creatures and that curiosity drives them to explore science and put it to test through technology. Despite the fact that science has shaped the world today, which seems to be more successful than before, it has created more room for disaster and the manifestation of new challenges. The modern society should regulate science and the innovations made, to preserve the promise for the sustenance of humanity.
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Cellan. Jones, Rory. “Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind.” *BBC news* 2. 12. (2014): 2014. Evans. G. Nicholas and Commins. A. “When scientific advances can both help and hurt humanity” February 3 2017. Accessed at phys.org/news/2017-02-scientific advances-humanity.html
World Health Organization. *WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2015: raising taxes on tobacco*. World Health Organization, 2015.