The Value of Science in Everyday LIfe

The Value of Science in Everyday LIfe

Nov 13, 2021, 7:44:08 AM Tech and Science


In recent decades, society has undergone important changes thanks to the evolution of knowledge on issues, for example, communication and transportation; Currently, the role of science and its applications in society has gone from being only a relevant issue for the community of specialists to a subject that concerns the whole of society, said the president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, José Luis Morán López , when giving the keynote address "The role of scientific research, applications and innovation in modern society."

In the auditorium "Maestro Carlos Pérez del Toro", one of the venues of the XXII International Congress of Accounting, Administration and Information ", Morán indicated that the terms" society and knowledge economy "are part of everyday language and refer to capacity of a society to incorporate the knowledge generated by its scientific communities into its productive and service activities

"The application of knowledge to solve problems that affect society has given visibility to institutions of higher education and scientific research," said the doctor in Physics.

This process, however, said the president of the AMC, has not always been the case, since a series of events have been recorded in history that have contributed to this new way of conceiving science. One of these events is the Manhattan project (for the manufacture of the atomic bomb), which was conceived and created in World War II, devoted unprecedented financial resources and brought together a team of thousands of researchers and technicians who demonstrated overwhelmingly the importance of scientific research and its technological applications, which later served for the generation of nuclear energy.

"Based on this experience, investment by the State and private initiative in science, through universities and the consolidation of private industry laboratories, grew notably in developed countries, with great dividends," said Morán.

But there were also other discoveries that have paid in favor of society, such as the discovery of the transistor in 1947, in the postwar period, with which the electronics revolution began, as this device is an essential part of any electronic circuit.

Since that date, the size of transistors has been decreasing and their density in electronic circuits reaches unsuspected values. Its inventors Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley, researchers at Bell Laboratories, shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for this achievement.

Gordon Moore predicted in 1965 that with the advancement of technology, the number of transistors in an electronic circuit would double every two years. This law has been enforced for decades to such an extent that in 2010 the number of transistors in a microprocessor reached billions and their dimensions have reached nanometers (one thousandth of a micron) in recent years.

Another example that the physicist raised before the conference attendees are magnets, which are used daily in items such as: hearing aids, computers, landlines and cell phones, microwave ovens, recording, audio and video systems. Also used in motors: CD and DVD motor and head positioning, audio and VHS (belt conveyor), electric doors, kitchen extractors, water pump, computers. And in cars: starter motor, motor fan, electric doors, windshield wipers, electric windows, side mirrors, speed sensors, not forgetting the storage devices.

“Without a doubt,” said Morán, “another of the inventions that has revolutionized society is the internet, invented by high-energy physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, for its acronym in French), which has completely modified communications and offers a new way of doing business ”.

Two recent examples of these businesses are the firm Uber, which uses a software tool and without owning a single car is the largest taxi company in the world, or Airbnb, the largest hotel corporate worldwide and does not have a single hotel either. .

The importance of science

José Luis Morán argued that these examples demonstrate the value of science in everyday life, therefore, he explained, researchers play a very important social role, since they generate new knowledge, apply it to solving problems and form resources specialized human resources required by the country.

In this context, he highlighted that the world's science academies have included these elements in their lines of action and act as promoters of the incorporation of knowledge into the various activities in society. "Today we know that to face complex problems it is necessary to form multidisciplinary groups, because a single discipline cannot do it," he admitted.

The president of the AMC added that the academies also serve as a bridge between the institutions that carry out scientific research and the public powers to advise and implement programs with the public administration and the productive sector.

More investment in CTI

Morán López stressed the importance of investing in science, technology and innovation, even when the country is experiencing and suffering from a global economic crisis. "If we want a more just society, with a more balanced development, we must invest more in education and science, (because) a people without education is a poor people and that is not what we want."

Before a mostly young audience, Morán López reported that the scientific community has spoken out against the federal cut to this sector, because "reducing the budget for education and science is not the way (...), we need to support development scientist and its applications to solve problems; We believe that one should invest in science and its applications to be participants and not just users ”.

Sergio Javier Jasso, researcher in the Research Division of the UNAM's School of Accounting and Administration, who served as presenter and moderator at the conference, pointed out that in other countries investment efforts in science, technology and innovation are greater, while in the case of Mexico they have been very small.

"To what extent countries like ours, which show a certain lag, have the real probability of approaching this dynamic of the knowledge society, is an open discussion," said Jasso.

 

Caption: If we want a fairer society, with a more balanced development, we must invest more in education and science, said José Luis Morán, president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences in a keynote address. In the image with Sergio Javier Jasso, researcher at the Research Division of the Faculty of Accounting and Administration of the UNAM. Image: Elizabeth Ruiz Jaimes / AMC.

Published by Steven J. Weiss

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