Otázka: Development of Science and Technology
Development of Science and Technology
The importance of science and technology has grown dramatically over the last century. Inventions and discoveries have influenced every aspect of human life: communication, transport, business, health care, housework, etc. Vast sums of money are being invested in new research in order to make our lives more manageable. Science and technology bring many benefits, for example, science increases our understanding of the world. Technology, for instance, improves our living conditions and makes our life easier.
There is a big difference between discovery and invention. Discovery means something that already exists, for example, the law of gravity or the theory of relativity. Invention refers to creating something new, for example, a telephone, and an MP3 player.
Science is a method of learning about the physical universe. Scientific method involves asking a question, performing an experiment, gathering observations and coming to conclusions. Scientists use different equipment to do an experiment. First of all they need a laboratory (a lab), where they can conduct the experiment. Then they need a microscope to look at very small objects like cells. Of course they also need a beaker to measure chemicals and a test tube to mix chemicals and study reactions. A Bunsen burner is used to heat chemicals and a stopwatch to measure time. Everyone needs a lab coat to protect clothes during the experiment and, of course, a computer to store and calculate results.
There are many different fields of science, for instance, chemistry, which deals with chemicals such as element or molecules and their properties. Another field of science is physics, which studies physical laws and forces such as heat, motion, gravity, magnetism and electricity. One more important field of science is, of course, biology. It deals with organisms, plants and animals, and building blocks of life, such as cells, genes, DNA, proteins and amino acids.
Technology is the development and application of tools, machines, materials and processes that help to solve human problems in different areas, like medicine, space research, computers, industry and agriculture.
There are many famous scientists that made a huge input into development of science and technology. One of them was Isaac Newton, who first developed the idea of gravity and the laws of motion. Nicholaus Copernicus was the first person who had a theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Galileo Galilei later proved it with a telescope. Marie Curie developed the theory of radioactivity and discovered new elements, polonium and radium. Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity, which described the nature of gravity in relation to space and time.
Some of the most significant inventions in human history are, for example, the wheel because it allowed people to transport goods and themselves quickly and with less effort. Penicillin is one of the greatest inventions as it kills bacteria and saves lives.
X-ray is important in medicine as it helps doctors to look inside the human body. The telephone is a great invention as it allows people to communicate over long distances. And, of course, the computer, as it allows people to calculate, store information, communicate with others across the world, to access a huge quantity of information quickly.
There are also some inventions that are dangerous. For instance, the nuclear bomb because it can only cause destruction, or guns as they kill people. Some think that television isn’t very helpful as it wastes a lot of time and stops people learning. Others believe plastic is useless as it pollutes the environment.
We have to agree though that science and technology changed our lives. In the past it was hard to examine human body, find out the reasons of disease and cure it, so a lot of people died from “incurable” diseases. Nowadays there is a huge range of drugs and vaccinations to treat and protect people from different diseases. New apparatuses are used to examine human bodies, like mammography, tomography, EKG, ultra sound and laser. Doctors can even transplant organs.
We can also see a difference in transportation. There are many different means of transport and people can even travel from one continent to another in a couple of hours. Cars are safer and use a new system of airbags and automatic controls. Trains are faster and safer. Trucks, cranes and bulldozers are used in agriculture and make peoples work much easier. But on the other hand, these means of transport produce a lot of exhaust fumes, which pollute air a lot. There are many great inventions in the area of communication. Many people use mobile phones; you can take photos with it, write short messages, connect to the internet and listen to music. Some believe though that mobile phones cause cancer. The most popular way of communication today is the internet. It is an unlimited source of information; you can chat with people, send e-mails and buy things. But the internet can be misused by hackers and as well people can get addicted to it.
There has been a huge development in space research as well. People fly to the Moon and the Mars; they look for new civilization, materials and natural resources. People build spaceships, space stations and satellites with different functions. Unfortunately satellites can be misused for spying and navigation of weapons in wars.
New technologies are also used in different fields of industry. For example, in food industry people use new chemicals in food processing so we can store food longer. Unfortunately these preservatives can be dangerous for human bodies.
Nowadays the most important source of energy are nuclear power plants. But thy produce very dangerous radioactive waste and mankind still doesn’t know how to safely liquidate this waste. There are many other alternative ways of how to produce energy, for, example, water power plants (need big rivers), solar power plants (need large space and good weather), wind power plants ( need windy locations).
It seems that each step forward in the field of science and technology also has its side effects, the dangers of which we are not aware of sometimes. It is up to mankind to be wise and responsible enough to handle these new opportunities with care and respect.