Impact of Science on Society

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THE IMPACT OF SCIENCE ON SOCIETY James Burke Jules Bergman Isaac Asimov NASA SP-482 THE IMPACT OF SCIENCE ON SOCIETY James Burke Jules Bergman Isaac Asimov Prepared by Langley Research Center Scientific and Technical Information Branch 1985 National Aeronautics and Space Administration Washington, DC Library of Congress Cataloging in PublicationData Burke, James, 1936The impact of science on society. (NASA SP ; 482) Series of lectures given at a public lecture series sponsored by NASA and the College of William and Mary in 1983. 1 . Science-Social aspects-Addresses, essays, lectures. I. Bergman, Jules. 11. Asimov, Isaac, 1920. 111. United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. IV.College of William and Mary. V.…show more content…
In many cases, it has been the awareness that change was even happening at all, the understanding that the solid base from which prediction was being made might be about as solid as quicksand. Even the most apparently immutable system or structure may be experiencing change even as you look at it. By change I mean, of course, not just change in the sense of bigger and better models and new ways of doing the same things you were doing before, but qualitative change in the structure and behavior of the society in which you live. I mean new philosophies as well as new gadgets. I’m not saying that the appreciation of change is easy; far from it, particularly today. As one of your more respectable social forecasters said recently, “If you understand something today, that means it must by definition already be obsolete.” Our general relationship with the present accelerating rate of change reminds me of the postcard from the patient on holiday to his psychiatrist at home: “Having a wonderful time. Why?” The difficulty
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