Technology is a subset of science that directly deals with the application of technology to improve upon existing processes or to create new processes or products. Technological change is now proceeding at a very rapid pace. In fact, it is quite difficult to keep up with all the latest technological advances as they occur. As a result, many people in various sectors are calling for a more interdisciplinary approach to technology, to be able to develop and implement new technologies, along with corresponding educational reform to make sure that society benefits from new knowledge and technological innovations. Technologists are needed to implement these innovations, to ensure that society as a whole has access to improved and enhanced goods and services, and a better quality of life.
Technological change occurs for several reasons, including advancing general awareness of needs and interests, introducing revolutionary devices and equipment, and developing new technology that is compatible with the needs of consumers. Technological change also occurs because of changes in economic structure, business practices, social trends, and government policy. Technological change can have both positive and negative effects on society. New industries are developed, new employment opportunities are created, but sometimes, the negative effects outweigh the benefits.
One area of immediate concern is the application of genetic technologies. Several research facilities are currently engaged in developmental and testing of genetically engineered (GE) organisms, which can potentially create a greater number of future problems than are already known. It is important to remember that the potential problems may have a significant impact on human health and the ecological balance of our planet. It is also important to remember that the ramifications of genetic engineering could extend beyond its current borders, into other aspects of life on earth. For example, GE crops and food may be susceptible to new herbicides and pesticides, resulting in a potentially catastrophic loss of crops and food worldwide.
One issue that has been brought to light by the public’s increasing concern about the possible negative impacts of new technologies is the issue of what the side effects may be. One of the most controversial of these concerns is whether or not genetically engineered foods might pose a risk to human health and the environment. Concerns include; contaminated crops, increased food allergies, etc. While much has been said and debated on the issue of the possible side effects of genetic engineering, one thing is for certain – if such dangers exist, it would be good to know that they have already been identified.
This brings us to another important area of concern that is largely untapped – what the effect would be if all new technologies were to fail. If, for example, the discovery of a new cancer-causing virus was to make scientists lose their mind and stop developing the most efficient cancer cures, then what would happen? What would become of the world economy? How would scientists and engineers to address the newly discovered disease, or viruses, if there wasn’t another cure out there to replace it? These are all important things to consider when discussing the subject of how humans should react if there was a failure in some aspect of these technologies, and therefore, human life.
When discussing the topic of the possible side effects of new technologies, it is important to remember that the world will still need technology, regardless of what effect it might have upon society or our planet. That being said, the increased awareness of consumers (especially when it comes to environmental issues) has helped people begin to understand the necessity of investigating the possible side effects of ANY technological item before they purchase it. It is hoped that this increased awareness will also help engineers and scientists to develop the next generation of devices and technologies, thereby protecting everyone’s lives and the planet. Please consider all this.