Science, technology and social change


Science, technology, and social changes are integrated in such a way that it is quite difficult to explain each of these terms individually as the cause of others. As insight of science deepens, the technology advances and drives a social change. Similarly, as a social change occurs, the demand for technology arises and thus the need for science.

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The Authority of Science: Knowledge, Truth and Reality

The fact that scientific knowledge is not socially produced makes it distinctive. The work of Berger and Luckmann has the best-known explanation of how social reality is created.

According to Berger and Luckmann, this suggests that sociology's main aim must be to comprehend how deeply divergent views are produced and how these beliefs come to have a compelling quality for the people who make up a society. It has been demonstrated how scientific knowledge is negotiated and formed both within the relatively closed social environment of the laboratory and in the setting of political discussion using the case studies of gravitational radiation and phrenology.

Science as a Social Movement

This section analyses how the question of the standing of specific scientific knowledge claims can be resolved similarly to the question of the authority of science. The development of scientific authority can also be seen as a closing of the conflict between competing forms of cognitive authority. The idea of science as a social movement serves as a key parallel that will help make sense of this claim regarding the nature of scientific authority.

Scientific Work and the Research System

Only a small percentage of people employed in science fit the stereotype of a scientist, who pursues their own interests and seeks out new knowledge. In general, universities and other related higher education and research institutions are the only settings where these conditions are even roughly met.

Most scientists work in technology, applied science, as technical assistants, or as instructors. This group makes up about 10% of the total scientific workforce in European countries. Compared to assembly-line employment, scientific work has more privileges, including better discretion over time, pace, and hours. As a result, the research system, or scientific research conducted in universities and allied fields, attracts overt political interest.

Science, technology and Economic Success

In the 1950s, economists and other social scientists started studying technological development systematically as a result of a desire to increase our quantitative understanding of the factors driving economic growth.

The early research, which relied heavily on highly aggregated data, sought to determine the relative relevance of various elements in generating growth. The discovery that increases in stocks of traditional factors of production (labour and capital) only contributed modestly to economic growth, on the other hand, prompted more in-depth investigation into the mechanisms underlying technological advancement and resulted in significant advancements in conceptualization, data collection, and measurement.

Technology, Science and Development

The economy's "modern" components have frequently widened the divide between the wealthy and the poor, the powerful and the weak. Thus, importing technology for development purposes has been fraught with difficulties; these difficulties are typically characterised in terms of the inappropriateness of Western technology and the growth of technological dependence.

In 1985, the UK government was eager to promote a contract in which India would buy helicopters worth 65 million from the Westland Company for use, for instance, in the offshore oil business off Bombay. From a European vantage point, nations that encounter these challenges could appear to be subject to climatic extremes.

Social Construction and Scientific Knowledge

This section examines the relationships between science and technology and modern social change in both the developed and developing worlds. It presents two sociological analyses of the origins of scientific understanding. Both reject the idea that science is an impartial body of knowledge that forms mostly free of societal influences. The builder openly acknowledges that science and technology are the best tools we have for interacting with nature. Constructionism suggests the best way to direct that scrutiny.


Science and technology have had a significant impact on social changes throughout history. As new scientific discoveries and technological innovations emerge, they can bring about changes in the way people live, work, and interact with one another.

One of the most significant ways in which science and technology have influenced social change is through the industrial revolution. Science and technology have also played a role in advancing social changes related to healthcare, transportation, and the environment. Medical advances have led to longer life expectancy and improved health outcomes, while new transportation technologies have made travel faster and more accessible. At the same time, environmental concerns have led to the development of new technologies aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the planet.

However, science and technology have also raised ethical and social questions, such as the impact of automation on employment and the potential for technology to exacerbate social inequalities. As a result, it is important to carefully consider the social implications of new scientific and technological developments, and to work towards ensuring that the benefits are distributed fairly across society.


Q1. What role does social change have in education?

Ans. In addition to providing knowledge, training, and skills, education also helps young people develop new perspectives and attitudes. Many of the outmoded belief systems and universal standards that obstruct progress can be changed in favour of informed conceptions through education.

Q2. How do technology and science make our lives better?

Ans. Science and technology allow us to save time and money. New ways to understand the world are made possible by science and technology. The advancement of education is aided by the sciences and technologies. Equipment used in treatment and therapy is developed in part thanks to science and technology.

Q3. What function will science and technology have in the future?

Ans. Science and technology's responsibility is to direct national development and support socioeconomic requirements. The development of devices, technology, and communication technology has been highlighted as one of the key areas.

Updated on: 17-Mar-2023

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