Does science benefit society?

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  • Created by: rorambla
  • Created on: 17-04-16 14:55

Relationship between science and technology

Scientific knowledge allows us to build new technologies, which often allow us to make new observations about the world, which, in turn, allow us to build even more scientific knowledge, which then inspires another technology.

Example of technological application of scientific research:

Discovery: Atomic structure

Technological application: nuclear energy

Discovery: DNA structure

Technological application: genetically modifief crops


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Technology creates new problems when solving old o

Technology: Technology is the application of scientific principals to solving human problems.

Why is technology like a double-edged sword?
Technology is like a doubleedged sword as it creates problems as it solves problems.

For example: the development of the motor in the early 20th C. resulted in everybody having a convenient means of personal transport.

The payoff was air pollution, acid rain, countryside under tarmac, road accidents.

UTILITARIANISM: the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people- John Stuart Mill

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Science is supported in many ways:

Science is supported in many ways...
Governments are reluctant to pay for research that doesn't bring economic benefits to the nation. However, they may give grants to share the cost. You never know, this kind of research might have unexpected benefits or may increase the country's esteem or national pride.

Medical research is very expensive. So a lot of it is funded by charities.

For example - Cancer Research
Cancer Research Charity...
Supported by individuals that have been touched by cancer in some way - or not.
Raises vast amounts of money - £1 million per day!

Individuals and companies that have made huge profits often start charities. can you think of any examples?  Bill Gates has so far donated $28 billion to charity.


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Science is supported in many ways: II

Environmental research...
is a good reason for countries to combine resources - weather doesn't respect borders.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was established in 1988 under the leadership of the UN.

The IPCC doesn't do research itself. It assesses and brings together environmental research carried out by others.

Therefore the IPCC provides a stimulus for further research and alerts governments to future concerns.

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Examples of charities:

Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC): Stable long-term investment in medical research is vital for the development of new treatments and also generates economic benefits for the UK.

Medical research is the UK’s favourite charitable cause, with 7.6 million people donating in a typical month.

AMRC members have together invested more than £1 billion into UK medical research in each of the past seven years.

The UK is unique for the size of its charity research-funding sector. They research projects such us: KIDNEY RESEARCH UK

Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity - another charity

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Technology is the application of scientific principals to solving human problems.

For example the development of:
-Transport systems
- Medicines
- Climate change
- Global warming

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Past paper question

Jan. 2012 Question 29:

“Using science to try to solve our problems just leads to new problems like global warming, over-population or nuclear weapons. Therefore, we should stop all scientific research.”

Assess the strength of this claim.

(20 marks)

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