Science is important for various reasons, which include:
- Increasing our fundamental knowledge
- Creating new technology
- Coming up with new applications
- A pathway for sharing ideas
- Giving us a better worldview
Let us take a closer look at each of these below as we seek to answer the question of why science is important in our lives:
Increasing Our Fundamental Knowledge
It is important to point out the fact that not all science pays off immediately. Some science discovers what we refer to as fundamental knowledge. It is knowledge of how the universe works. Not just how molecules interact, but rather how they are made. See here for IVD assay development process.
Fundamental knowledge is important since it shows us how neutrons and protons are made. It shows us whether our theories of gravity are accurate. It helps us understand how light waves (or radiation) interact with our bodies.
The fundamental knowledge that we gain from science often does not have immediate applications. It may take several decades, and sometimes even centuries before we are able to put that fundamental knowledge into action.
Once we have the knowledge and create the applications, however, we find it hard to imagine life without it. For instance, imagine a world where we didn’t know about the existence of x-rays and couldn’t look at broken bones on a doctor’s screen to help the injured heal.
Who knows about the kinds of applications that will come of the confirmation that heavy objects can actually warp space, just as pebbles ripple water or even the discovery of the Higgs boson. However, our grandchildren’s grandchildren might not be able to picture a world without such discoveries.
Creating New Technology
Can you picture life without the phone? Not the phone in your pocket, but rather the standard landline, dial-up phone. We would not have those were it not for science, let alone the mini-computer sitting next to us that we now refer to as a phone.
Can you picture a life where electricity didn’t exist? You would be keeping warm with layers of blankets, cooking your food over fires, walking from place to place, or hand sewing all your clothes. You definitely would not be reheating dinner in the microwave.
Old technology was new, novel, and so exciting that one could hardly picture living in a world with that technology. Today, we are currently living in a world where we cannot imagine living without much of that technology.
Science is important because it creates new technologies. From origami folded prosthetic limbs, nano-sized cancer zappers, to Martian rovers, self-driving vehicles, and even quantum computing – there’s no shortage of places that science is going towards today.
If we would like to reap the numerous benefits provided by science, we actually need to do the science. We need good brains in laboratories and dedicated bodies to run experiments. We need people with collaboration, mathematics, and problem-solving skills.
Today, as you are reading this, you can bet that a scientist in the lab is coming up with an amazing new technology that won’t be able to imagine living within just a couple of decades. What could that be? Can you even imagine it?
Coming Up with New Applications
Today, it might seem crazy to think of a world without the internet, but it actually didn’t even exist just a few decades ago. The internet, in its current form, really started taking form in the 1970s, as scientists attempted to transmit messages from one computer to the other. However, each computer had to be connected to the other. If you wanted to talk to 10 people this way, you would require 10 computers to do so.