Reducing adverse effects of scientific progress


In order to lessen or eliminate such a risk, and the dangers underlying scientific and technical advances, man in his wisdom has sought, at every stage of his development, to control himself by setting limits which are not to be exceeded and by establishing standards of conduct for all to follow. Thus, though it may be possible for him to be acquainted with everything and to possess all knowledge in the search to satisfy his very essence, man must not attempt to do everything, because he is not alone in bearing the consequences of his actions; these may harm both their perpetrator and others, which is unacceptable in view of the duty of each person to respect and to safeguard other people's rights. It is so because it is not the individual alone who decides, but all the persons who make up democratic society and ensure its survival and perpetuation through their activities, their efforts and their lucidity.


Then how can it be ensured that progress will not bring with it disaster or misfortune? The most suitable method would appear to be to supervise scientific activity, although this means preparing a list of research areas where advances may entail negative aspects which need to be remedied. The solution would be to surround scientific research with legal and material safeguards, while respecting scientists, rights to freedom and dignity. Such safeguards are desirable because society can and must have them for its own security, provided that progress is not thereby hampered.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure