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Science: A Social and Cultural Examination - Essay Example

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When looking at the progress scientific discoveries have made, people wonder in amazement how such things were possible. Looking around, in every aspect of human society, science has brought many changes in how the way people view and take life as well as the environment they live in…
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Science: A Social and Cultural Examination
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Looking back at the historical developments of various civilizations, there are evidences that scientific progress was actually determined by the social and cultural norms of people. This paper will explore the historical evidences for this phenomenon. Even until today, it seems that developments in science have actually been determined by the demands of society or the cultural trends and movements. The issue at hand is whether or not scientific discoveries and advancement is decided by socio-cultural mores, or otherwise.

When looking upon the things humanity has today, people would typically say that science dictated the inception of such developments. Seeing buildings like the ancient temples of the past civilizations to the tall skyscrapers of the contemporary metropolis of today, people are amazed the creations science and technology has made for humanity. It can be said that science is actually a means by which society uses to progress in civilization. There are evidences or findings that indicate that, in truth, science was actually shaped by the social norms of culture. One can appreciate the scientific and engineering marvels of the ancient Egyptian civilization. Ancient Egyptian structures such as the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza still stand to this day, viewed as engineering marvels created by Egyptian scientific technology. A close examination on ancient Egyptian society and cultural norms indicates that it was not science that created the lasting architectural and engineering marvels until today. ...
3) posited: It is very easy for the modern citizen of a technologically dependent society to assume that the social structure and human interactions are being driven by the unfettered, and often unintentional, consequences of a spiral of accelerating technological developments. Likewise, it has become fashionable for warnings of the potential evils of technology to be screamed from the pages of prophetic socio-political novels and science fiction films. However, on the contrary, a careful study of the history of technology shows that, rather than it being the driver of society, indeed society’s values, motivations, beliefs, and worldview drive and shape the evolution of technology (p.16) It was indicated through such sociological and historical accounts that science was strongly depended and tied to the culture of a society, and it could not be completely autonomous without it. Take the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Egypt, and even the pyramids of the ancient tribes of South America by the Aztecs and Incans, for example. These marvellous and lasting structures were not created as scientific test-beds or experiments. On the contrary, and perhaps with a tinge of irony, the science of engineering made by ancient Egyptians, the Aztecs, or the Incans, were largely developed due to the demands of cultural norms. Using the pyramids of the ancient Egyptians and the ancient South American tribes as examples, it can be said that the basis for their engineering science would have been likely less possible if it were not the fact that their society demanded a grand structure of religious worship. Science became the means of society to express its social norms and cultural mores, and made to last as long as possible throughout the ages. As Latour (1998) observed, “science ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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