Science and society cannot exist without the other. Without science society would still be back living in caves and foraging for food in the wild; without society there would be no need for science.
Science at first was rudimentary, it was as simple as a first discovering that meat tasted better and could be kept longer if at first cooked; that a cut healed better if smeared with mud; and a tree loaded with honey could be found if one observed the direction the bees flew and then followed.
These findings were shared and as time marched on, mankind with its amazing God given gifts of observation, reasoning and deduction, prospered. Science needed to be controlled and expounded upon and led by those who were experienced and who had a knack for figuring out puzzling problems.
Science concerns itself with two differing but overlapping fields of thought, ontological and epistemological. Ontological science asks the question: who are we, why so we exist; epistemological science Deals with the knowledge of science and how to interact with it.
Who are we, why are we here, what is the purpose of life, when did we first learn how to do such and such and how can we improve on it. Where are the tools we need to carry on our research and whose ideas make the most sense, and why is that experiment necessary, and what if we fail, are all questions and puzzles science seeks to answer. Society, now somehow apart, approves or disapproves.
Medicine and health make up a great deal of what science is all about, and it, like science itself, concerns itself with society in a big way. Society owes its biggest debt of gratitude to those who have brought us thus far in this field of science. The breakthroughs that save lives and permit a longevity not seen nor heard about since the beginning of time. Man at first, as the biblical story goes, lived hundreds of years. One can reason there were no disease causing entities and was the reason for such long life spans.
Or another might say it was the slow metabolism of societies at first, they did not rush forward into forbidden territories and were content to live life as it were meant to be lived. Since there were few disagreements and many pleasures, energy was not consumed at the rate it is today. It was not needed.
With conflict, and with wars, and with disagreements, and with life forever casting off its used up portions, society began to move faster, and faster. Science being the catalyst that spurred it on and being there to answer, or attempt to answer, the question, who are we, and why are we here?
Merrian-Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 2000, pp.1443