What do you think of when you hear or see the word “science”; test tubes, Einstein, Space? Science is “generally taken as meaning either (a) the exact sciences, such as chemistry, physics, etc., or (b) a method of thought which obtains verifiable results by reasoning logically from observed fact” (Orwell). Scientists are those who study science by scientific method. These “men of science”, which Orwell describes as “a biologist, and astronomer, perhaps a psychologist or a mathematician”, “work by means of induction and deduction, and that by the help of these operations, they, in a sort of sense, wring from Nature certain other things, which are called natural laws, and causes, and that out of these, by some cunning skill of their own, they build up hypotheses and theories” (Huxley).
What does this mean though? The things we see or do on a daily basis, some of which are unconsciously done, like breathing, is science. We know the science behind it, along with countless other things, for instance, how cars operate. Many other items like the salt we use to clear snow, phones and computers were made through science. Most of the time, these are discoveries we take for granted. Humanity would not be as advanced as it is currently without most, if not all, of discoveries obtained by means of science. However, the more knowledge we attain, the more powerful the inventions and ideas become which could result in doing more harm than good.
I believe the most useful creation from science is medicine. It is applied all over the world in various different forms to treat and prevent abnormalities, illnesses and diseases. The discovery of medicine has caused the life span of a human, and other species, to increase. But, by doing that, we have weakened our bodies’ natural ability to fend off diseases by itself. On top of that, bacteria and viruses have become stronger and resistant to medicine, which could lead to a superbug that we might not know how to cure. Our body certainly would not be able to fight against it, since our immune system has not been adapted to fight such superbugs. This undoubtedly demonstrations the pros and cons of inventions made through science.
There are people who abuse medicine, and other creations from science, for numerous different reasons. Things like guns and nuclear weapons were formed to protect, but with the downside of killing others. With all of this this being said, should there be a limit to things we make? More importantly, does science have an ethical responsibility to humanity? I think to answer that question, we need to start with deciding if scientists have an ethical responsibility to humanity.
As the saying goes, with knowledge comes power and with power comes responsibility. However, there can be no limitation on the knowledge obtained from science. Instead, we must limit what arises from knowledge and power. What are some responsibilities of scientists and the rest of the population? Well, to start on the...