Technological advancement is not always the solution to technical problems. There are other aspects as well- ethics, policies, management, and most importantly, education. If you go through this post carefully, you will get to understand it properly.
An expert or a scientist is more aware of the potential impact of technology on society. Hence, they need to work closely with government bodies and concerned authorities. They also should be well-read and have a strong command of mathematics. If you struggle to understand a concept, it is imperative that you seek the help of a math problem solver.
Proper Engagement with Government Bodies
Although technological development has accelerated, there is also a need for increased interaction with policymakers. Today, Covid-19 has claimed 2,746,311 lives. Thus, it is imperative that medicines and vaccines are distributed to the masses. For this to happen, scientists and physicians have to provide state and federal governments with suggestions on the deployment of the vaccines.
The scientists have to collect data initially on how well the vaccines are faring against the Coronavirus variants, and whether there are any side-effects. Based on this, they will make changes and again advise the government on proceeding with the entire process. On the other hand, government officials must balance scientific recommendations against the individual and public costs associated with them to make ethical decisions.
As you can see, proper communication and decision-making skills are of the utmost importance when it comes to solving technical problems.
Incorporating Ethics in STEM Education
Technology is important for battling the climate crisis, and it also minimizes the critical role people have to play in order to tackle the issues. But what is more important is that we need to comprehend human behavior as they are directly involved with energy consumption and conservation.
Based on this information, the experts can modify the technology, coupled with human behavior, to get the desired results. As you can imagine, scientists should not only focus on phase change energy storage, or passive solar heating, but the entire R&D process.
This calls for a change in the education system, where the current focus is only on the technical aspects and training. In fact, the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) has recognized the essence of expanding the curriculum. They have asked academic institutions to take a look into this matter.
This would mean that engineers would have to pursue dedicated ethics of technology courses. If adequate steps are not taken right now, then they would have to enter a workforce hell-bent on making technological advancements. They would not get the full picture of the positive and negative potential impact.
Technologies’ Responsibility to the Society
You might have heard about this topic or may have even come across this in newspapers or conference papers. Scientists do have a responsibility to participate in decisions and discussions regarding the appropriate use of science in order to curb societal issues.
For instance, many of the scientists who were part of the Manhattan Project, were strong advocates against nuclear usage. In fact, Oppenheimer took steps to prevent a destructive future. He started working with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to control the use of nuclear weapons. And in 1949, when the then-president Harry S. Truman approached him for the creation of the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer opposed it.
As you can imagine, scientists must warn or advice on how a technology or creation should be used. If it is detrimental to society, they should take steps to prevent the use of the same. Over the years, many engineers have expressed concern and have advised people to stay away from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Hence, steps have been taken so that telecommunication companies and social media platforms offer full disclosure to the users regarding the information they are collecting.
What Has Covid-19 Taught Us?
The Covid-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener for the education sector. The unprecedented incident forced schools and universities to shut down. As a result, the educational institutes had to adopt ways to keep the process going.
These involved online education, classes via videoconferencing platforms, Facebook education groups and much more. The teachers could impart lessons to the class with the help of Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. And if the students had a doubt, they would inform the teacher about it, and the queries would be addressed.
But several issues were found out. The educational progress of the underprivileged students took a hit. Many of the students could not afford laptops or monthly Internet packages. Furthermore, it took forever (for some students and teachers) to grab the whole concept of online learning. They had to endure a lot of trouble while arranging online classes. That’s why, they usually looks for best laptops under 600 to arrange online classes.
As you can see, technology alone is not crucial. The users must be educated regarding the usage, and the appliances or the tools must be distributed to all to achieve a common goal, in this case, education.
Involving Further Stakeholders
Innovation is tough. But the implementation of the technologies is tougher.More often than you know, technology innovation takes place in isolation. Thus, the goal should be to assist theinnovators in recognizing their blindspots and identifying areas where they can collaborate with stakeholders from other fields. This might be a policy, which will ensure the effectiveness of new technology and its implementation.
As per 60% of American citizens, scientific experts should have more say in the policy debates. This couldn’t be truer now that we are all in the Covid-19 pandemic situation. There should be mutual respect and coordination between the innovators and the policymakers. The lack of this might give rise to technologies too controversial, or it might be misunderstood. Or, the technologies might be released in the market prematurely, when people are not ready to accept it.
As we can see, only through education and increased engagements between policymakers and ethics experts, we can analyze the impact of technology. Moreover, we can spot the barriers and voice the concerns to reach the common goal.