Since the era of evolution, science, knowingly or unknowingly, has tremendously contributed to the progress of human kind making the race far superior to the other life forms on earth. In terms of providing comfort, convenience, safety and security from almost every imaginable threat, science has served mankind wonderfully well. Many of these have done wonders to improve not only the quality of life but the overall health of mankind.
A century ago an epidemic disease like small pox or cholera could decimate the whole population. But today with the breakthrough in medical sciences any such instance can be controlled. Diseases and disorders that certainly meant either death or a lot of suffering to our ancestors are capable being cured through scientific diagnosis, surgeries and therapies or at least ameliorated. Medicines and well-facilitated hospitals are available in every corner of the world. Water supplies, milk and other foods are all subjected to methods of treatment that assure their freedom from malign bacteria and chemical poisons. Our foods are grown, preserved, transported and prepared with the help of scientific methods, which make any dietary available any time and place.
The steamship, the railroad, the automobile, the aeroplane and the space craft represent successive and relatively rapid changes in transportation have made close neighbours of continents that were earlier altogether strangers to one another. In making the world a better place these advancements have made possible to provide relief during disasters natural calamities and accidents.
Telephone and radio, which once seemed to be the greatest invention of science is now replaced by television, mobile phones etc. Internet become the most popular networking source connecting people at a never before speed. The geographical space is transformed to a mere click of the mouse. Messages today can be delivered and spread within seconds across the globe through any of these modes- mobile phones, internet, fax, satellite. This characteristic of the new technology has transformed the world into a ‘Global Village’. It has put a considerable affect on receiving and disseminating knowledge that has become the most important weapon in the time of globalization.
Although science has changed the face of human kind in a great manner, its adverse effects on entire species of the world can never be denied. If medicines in one way give second chance to a human, the dispersed left over endangers the existence of the world itself. Nuclear energy helps in generating electricity but the same when used as weapons, which can destruct our planet and its inhabitants. Nuclear energy is almost a circumstantial requirement to meet the increasing power needs. Hiroshima and Nagasaki speaks the volume of curse spelled on humankind by the misuse of the gift of science. Moreover, what was the need of inventing gun and gunpowder? Has a bullet enriched the humanity in any way? What about the nuclear bombs and the world wars? What about the deforestation made for the advancement of science in the form of different projects? What about the increase of temperature in the form of global meltdown? Science does not mean killing of the innocent people...science does not mean destruction of the world and science certainly does not mean eradication of humanity!!! Science is not inherently evil. It is we, the superior ones, who tend to make it so. In the name of progress, we should not end up playing the role of Frankenstein and his demonic monster.
The debate of scientific inventions and its pros and cons is a never-ending issue. However, the positive side should be exploited for the maximum benefit of the entire world, which includes not only human beings but plants and other animals as well. Guns and ammunitions were invented for human protection against the wild. But at times we ourselves expose our wild sides. A proper plan with futuristic and pragmatic vision needs to be initiated keeping the selfish interest aside so that the light of progress of human kind never diminished.
The comforts we enjoy today, for instance transportation, light, air coolers are really hard to give up. Basic sciences and technologies have to be used to develop other alternatives, some already explored and some yet to be ventured. The newer technology should be made more environmental friendly and user-friendly.
The energy consumption is increasing in geometrical progression and it is not very long that the natural resources reserve will be exhausted. It will be a very fruitful research if the exhaust, emissions from any industry, vehicles, railways, aircraft etc. are converted to some useful energy form. Thus keeping the overall balance of the earth’s energy resources as well as a pollution free environment, this is a potential threat to all the living being of the earth. Research on inexhaustible energy sources like solar energy, hydel-power, geothermal energies for the optimum exploit will make the world a still better place to live. Environmental restoration is another area needing highly specialized research.
Biodegradable packaging materials production and recycling of all the disposables at the lower cost of energy and time is another issue. Proper research work has yet to be done on the organized disposal of the radioactive wastes from the reactors and one such international project is being conducted in the mountains of Nevada, US named ‘Nevada Nuclear Waste Project’.
Dormant diseases or newly evolved viruses liked H1N1 are still to be encountered. Further sophisticated researches have to be done to clean the world of its fatal diseases and disorders like cancer, AIDS, muscular dystrophies.
Most important issue to be addressed by science is to bring the humane nature back to human which many a time seems missing. If we use the knowledge of science with conscience, we can make this earth a much better place to live in. However, if we use science without having the sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, we would only contribute to its destruction. Science without conscience is the soul’s perdition.