Undesirable advances in science and technology

Other Names:
Harmful development of scientific knowledge
Harmful application of technical development
Dangerous scientific progress
Research with potential adverse effects

The international community has been aware of the harmful effects of the application of scientific and technical advances for some time. The International Conference on Human Rights, held in Tehran in 1968, sounded the alarm and the United Nations General Assembly subsequently adopted resolution 2450 (XXIII), in which it invited the Secretary-General and the executive heads of the competent specialized agencies to undertake a study of the problems in connection with human rights arising from developments in science and technology.


The research areas in question do not lend themselves easily to classification. Scientific activity is extremely wide-ranging and encompasses all aspects of human life, from the time the embryo is conceived to the time a human being is born, lives and finally disappears or, to be less categorical, departs for a better world. There are some areas of activity, however, which appear more risky than others and which require constant attention: (a) medicine and health, (b) computing and (c) nuclear energy.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
23.02.2020 – 06:52 CET