Science and technology are everywhere around us. From penicillin to the micro-chip, from the atom bomb to genetic engineering, everywhere the consequences of science press in on us and influence our lives. It is small wonder, then, that it is the object of deeply-held views. There is one stereotype in our culture that idealises science, glorifies it as a human triumph, celebrates it with optimism and enthusiasm as the onslaught of human rationality upon ignorance and powerlessness. Moon-shots, superwheat and robots, these are the scientific and technological fruits of our capacity to master our environment. What we need is greater expenditure on science, more investment in technology and our prosperous future as citizens of the world is assured. Yet there is another, darker, stereotype — the Frankenstein fear of a monster out of control. Traditionally appearing as a mad but brilliant scientist who creates something horrific out of the bodies of his victims, this terror of science run amok has in the last three decades assumed a more depersonalised form. Fear of nuclear war or irretrievable damage to the global environment and a wish to return to the earth and to roots have widely replaced the ‘Strangelove syndrome’.
KeywordsBurning Dioxide Penicillin Assure
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