Science is a double edged sword. Since the dawn of the modern era of science and technology, we have both lauded our scientific discoveries, and worked to correct some of their consequences.
The same nuclear power that has benefited us in medicine and energy has become a possible threat to our very existence. The strides in chemistry that gave us bigger, better, and more insect resistant plants has released chemicals into the atmosphere, ground water, lakes, and rivers. The technology that brought us convenience in the form of plastics and artificial materials produced factories that released by products into water systems and the atmosphere.
Now, the real test of the scientific world, and possibly the very reason that science developed as rapidly as it has, may be to literally save the earth and mankind. The next challenge for science will not be geared around developing more conveniences for mankind, but to insure the future of humanity. Science will need to develop ways to incorporate more desalienation processes for potable water, better growing techniques to feed the ever expanding population, and possibly, methods to prevent the earth from becoming victim to some marauding meteor.
Fortunately for all of us on the planet earth, the world of science is all too aware of this, and they are working on these concerns. Science in the 21st century will be more involved with survival of mankind, and ways to control natural and unnatural disasters that might affect us.
In the past one hundred years, science has made strides with the speed of light. We have evolved, scientifically, beyond anything the earth has ever seen. We have come up with technology that has made life easier, research that has saved millions of lives, and products that we have learned to depend on in our daily lives. We have advanced more in the last hundred years than the we have in all the millions of years that preceded them.
Scientists are, by and large, hard working, self sacrificing, servants of the people, who are always on the track of some new and wonderful creation. However, in the frenzy to experiment, create, and succeed, we have unintentionally rushed many processes, without thought to the adverse reactions on humans and the earth.
In many ways, science grew too fast, and, unfortunately, sometimes without thought to possible negative results. Science will come up with solutions to the problems of the modern world, just as they have in the past. The question is do we have time.