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Does science benefit society?

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Russ Townsend

on 19 January 2015

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Transcript of Does science benefit society?

A way of describing human curiosity and the desire to explain more of the world and universe we live in.

Science benefits society through activities we now class as technology.

The belief is that science and technology will provide solutions to human problems and improve the human condition.
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!

Can research 'cutting edge' problems that may not be profitable.

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

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

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

Therefore the
provides a stimulus for further research and alerts governments to future concerns.
What is technology?
What is technology and how does it relate to science?

Why is technology like a double-edged sword.
Technology is like a double-edged sword
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.
Past paper question - Jan. 2012 Q 29
Technology is the application of scientific principals to solving human problems.
Does science benefit society?
What is 'science'?
For example the development of:
Transport systems
Climate change
Global warming

Edexcel mark scheme:
Sheep’s ability to distinguish and remember faces of both other sheep and humans study.

Do Married Couples Start to Look Alike Study

Are Women More Attractive in Red Study

Do Herring Communicate by Passing Gas Study

Which one of these four scientific studies is a real one?
What to do now...
Research the following on the internet:
What types of scientific research are there?
Who funds the research?
In what way does the funding body benefit from the research?
Get it clear in your mind the controversies behind research funding in terms of who benefits, the motivations and how the course of scientific research fits in with the notion of science being for the benefit of humankind.
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