Proposed New Technology, Ethics, and Society
When we hear the term “technology” we usually think of some grandiose, over-the-top thing that is a product of science that has made our lives easier or more convenient. Technologists are involved in every aspect of modern life; they invent things like automobiles, televisions, washing machines, and medical prosthesis. The term is usually used to describe an area of science that applies science fiction to real life. Technological change is so fast that it sometimes causes disruptions in the world around us.
Technology is actually the application of certain scientific theories to solve problems. In other words, technology is the application of scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. Technological systems are those tools and techniques used to implement technological developments. Some technologists are involved in creating new technologies, while others work on and improve upon the ones that are already out in use. The scope and impact of technological systems have increased dramatically with the increase in technological complexity and associated research and development costs. The field of technological studies was introduced in the early 1970s to provide a framework for researchers studying the impact of technological systems and their implications on society.
Some areas of the study of technology focus on how new technologies affect society at large. Other areas focus on specific technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, computer technology, telecommunications, and multimedia. Still other areas of study to explore the ethical issues surrounding the adoption of new technologies, especially when their use could have adverse consequences for the future of humanity as a whole. Still yet other areas of study to look into the ethical aspects of specific technologies, such as genetically altered crops and animal enhancements.
Technological systems often fail to reach their goals for which they were designed. Often this is because they do not incorporate the desired set of goals with the desired set of technologies. This means that the technology is “on the wrong side of the street” in terms of its intended effect on society. In addition, some forms of new technology can have unforeseen side effects that bring about negative societal consequences.
Researchers have proposed new technologies to address some or all of these key issues. One proposed new technology seeks to improve the ability to pharmacologically treat major diseases. The primary technologies under this proposal include: genetic engineering, pharmacologically active drug delivery systems, and nanotechnology. Another proposed new technology focuses on the development of highly efficient electrical batteries. The technologies under this proposal include: superconducting ionic batteries, organic batteries and solid state batteries.
As you can see, the discipline of Technology Studies has many aspects and subtopics to consider. These include issues such as the impact of new technologies on society, potential adverse consequences of an adopted technology, the ethical issues surrounding the adoption of new technologies, the unintended side effects of certain technologies, and the developing world and how new technologies can positively affect it. The ultimate goal of this study is to understand these key areas and how they impact society today and into the future. This research may ultimately help determine the best way forward in developing safe and effective medicines and other pharmaceuticals.