SCIENCE MATTERS
science is everyone's responsibility

 
     
 

introduction
the laser
the road to los alamos
public understanding
military research
views from the chalk face




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INTRODUCTION

'The proper view of evolution is of co-evolution of organisms and their environments, each change in an organism being both the cause and the effect of changes in the environment. The constructionist view of organism and environment is of some consequence to human action. Clearly, one does not want to live in a world that smells and looks worse than at present, in which life is even more solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short than it now is. But that wish cannot be realised by the impossible demand that human beings stop changing the world. Remaking the world is the universal property of living organisms and is inextricably bound up in their nature. Rather, we must decide what kind of world we want to live in and then try to manage the processes of change as best we can to approximate it.’
R C Lewontin, professor of population sciences and biology at Harvard University

’We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes – one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or fail, in our own chosen way.’
Stephen Jay Gould, teacher of biology, geology and history of science at Harvard University




Nowadays it is biologists who remind us of our freedom to make choices. Science shows the extent to which environments and organisms interact to change each other, a state of affairs which can be applied to human society in particular.

It is more important than ever before that everyone has some understanding of where scientific discovery and technological development are taking us, and what the implications of travelling with them might be. Evolutionary developments are not to be equated with ‘progress’; scientific developments are not necessarily progress for the community, either, as the links between science, technology, and war make clear.

 
   

     

   
         
 

 

 

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