Science and Technology in a World Transformed

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Science  01 Jun 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4652, pp. 943-946
DOI: 10.1126/science.224.4652.943


In this era of rapid, far-reaching transformation, our way of life is in many respects a novelty for our species. Opportunities arising from profoundly enhanced capabilities in science and technology are felt in every sphere of life from health to communication, yet each advance has side effects that take time to appear. Grave institutional inadequacies are manifested in the prevalence of totalitarian governments, proliferation of devastating weapons, failure of educational institutions to prepare most people for the modern world, failure to use what we know to prevent damage to a large proportion of the world's children; and the weakness of international institutions to deal with global interdependence in the face of persistent ethnocentrism and prejudice. The American scientific community can usefully become more deeply engaged with these great problems.